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Crowley christens LNG-powered vessel

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LNG Industry,

Crowley Maritime Corp. has announced that it has christened the US-flag combination container roll on/roll off (ConRo) vessel MV Taíno in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Tom Crowley, Chairman and CEO, said: “We are thrilled to christen this magnificent new ship here with our employees, customers and people of Puerto Rico, whom she will serve for many years to come.

Taíno is a source of pride for us all and in particular the men and women who built and/or crew her, many of whom are Puerto Rican. The vessel is among the first of its kind to be powered by LNG, just like its sister Commitment Class vessel, MV El Coquí, which entered service last year."

According to the statement, both of the 219.5 m long, 26 500 DWT vessels are capable of transporting up to 2400 TEUs at cruising speeds of more than 22 knots. They offer fast, 55-hour transits that reached an on-time arrival rate of 98% in the past month. Each vessel has enclosed, ventilated decks with the capacity for 400 cars and large vehicles – a unique feature for Puerto Rico trade.

Crowley claims that both vessels were built at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi, with Crowley Solutions providing construction management services. In order to improve the supply chain velocity with these vessels, the company also invested in the terminal and related infrastructure on the mainland and in Puerto Rico. At Isla Grande, the company added a new 900 ft pier and three ship-to-shore gantry cranes – the first newly constructed cranes for San Juan Harbour in over 50 years. In addition to this, the company also implemented a new terminal operating system and added container staging areas and handling equipment for both refrigerated and dry cargo – all while reducing gate turn times.

Crowley said: “This major investment, which is resulting in jobs, a positive economic impact, a cleaner environment and world-class supply chain services for Puerto Rico shippers, would not have been possible without the Jones Act.

“While the act ensures that we have a robust shipbuilding capability and skilled merchant mariners in the US essential to our national defense, it has also created a commercial shipping market between the mainland and Puerto Rico that is highly competitive, customised and dedicated.

“We should be strengthening this critically important maritime law, not tearing it down as some special interest groups espousing highly inaccurate and misleading information would like to do.”

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