Crowley Orders LNG-Powered Ships


January 2014


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SIU-contracted Crowley Maritime is entering the market of faster, environmentally friendly shipping with the order of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels that will sail between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico.


The two ships, which signify new jobs for SIU members, will be the first of their kind. Designed as combination container and roll-on/ roll-off vessels, they will be able to travel at 22 knots while carrying containers up to 53 feet long and hundreds of vehicles in weatherproof decking.


The new ships are scheduled for delivery from VT Halter Marine Inc. of Pascagoula, Miss., in the second and fourth quarters of 2017 and will be named El Coqui and Taino.


Because of their LNG power, the ships will leave a much smaller carbon footprint than traditionally powered vessels. LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel available and significantly reduces carbon dioxide, a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, when compared to conventional fossil fuels.


“Our investment in these new ships – the first of their kind in the world – is significant on so many fronts,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “Our actions are clear evidence of our commitment to the U.S. maritime industry and the Jones Act. American- built, -crewed and -owned ensures U.S. shipbuilding capabilities, skilled U.S. merchant seamen, and available domestic vessel tonnage, all of which are of vital importance to our national defense.”


The vessels will be developed by Wartsila Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime. They have been designed to maximize the carriage of containers up to 53 feet long and 8.5 feet wide, which offer the most cubic cargo capacity in the trade. The ships will be 720 feet long and 106 feet wide.


“When we sat down with Jensen and Wartsila to design these ships, we started with a clean slate to address and incorporate the specific needs of the Puerto Rico market,” said John Hourihan, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico and Caribbean services. “We are very excited to add faster transit times to our existing service offerings while maintaining our ability to handle 53-foot and refrigerated equipment that so many of our customers have come to rely on…. Coupled with the LNG fuel, customers can take satisfaction in that they are getting faster, more reliable service, while reducing the amount of CO2 emissions attributable to each container by approximately 38 percent. This design is a win-win for the customer and for the environment.”


Jensen Vice President Johan Sperling added, “Safety and environmental protection were also at the forefront of our design process. For example, one of the superior safety systems we engineered included a feature that places all fuel tanks behind double-wall voids with no exposure to the environment.”


Sperling said the ships would meet or exceed all regulatory requirements and have the CLEAN notation, which requires limitations of operational emissions and discharges, as well as the Green Passport, both issued by the classification society Det Norske Veritas.




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