Construction Gets Underway on Two New Aloha Class Containerships for Matson

 

November 2015

 

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Seafarers-contracted Matson recently announced the start of production on two new Aloha Class containerships designed specifically for Hawaii service, with greater capacity and state-of-the-art “green ship technology” features. After a small ceremony at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard on Oct. 1, the cutting of steel plates began, initiating the construction work to build both ships.

 

The SIU represents steward department mariners aboard Matson vessels.

 

In 2013, Matson signed a contract with Aker Philadelphia to build the two new ships for an aggregate price of $418 million. The vessels are expected to be delivered in the third and fourth quarters of 2018 and will sail in the Jones Act trade.

 

Matson also announced that the first of the two new ships will be named after the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, who was a lifelong supporter of the U.S. maritime industry and its role in supporting Hawaii’s economy. Senator Inouye also was a cherished friend of the SIU.

 

The 850-foot long, 3,600 TEU vessels will be Matson’s largest ships and the largest Jones Act containerships ever constructed, according to the company. They are designed to operate at speeds greater than 23 knots, helping ensure timely delivery of goods in Hawaii. Though bigger, the ships are also designed to accommodate future needs by being able to navigate safely into some of Hawaii’s smaller ports, Matson noted.

 

The new vessels will incorporate a number of features aimed at protecting the environment, including a more fuel-efficient hull design, dual-fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG), environmentally safe double-hull fuel tanks and freshwater ballast systems.

 

“These new ships are the future for Hawaii shipping and will bring a new level of efficiency and effectiveness to our service,” said Matt Cox, president and CEO, Matson. “The substantial investment in new technology underscores Matson’s long-term commitment to Hawaii and our desire to serve the islands in the best, most environmentally friendly way into the future.”

 

Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is a union facility.

 

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