More new SIU-crewed tonnage is on the way following a late-August announcement by Matson, Inc. that the company has partnered with General Dynamics NASSCO to build two new combination container and roll-on/roll-off (Con-Ro) vessels for its Hawaii fleet.
The Jones Act-qualified ships will be constructed at NASSCO’s facility in San Diego, which is a union yard.
“Whenever new ships enter the Seafarers-crewed fleet, it’s obviously good news, no matter if the vessels are outright additions or replacement tonnage,” stated SIU Vice President West Coast Nick Marrone. “In this case, the positives also include that the ships will be union-made and are planned for sailing in the Jones Act trade. The results will be beneficial to the long-term job security of Seafarers, and this also demonstrates a commitment to the citizens of Hawaii for dependable shipping service.”
The Con-Ro vessels are slated for delivery near the end of 2019 and mid-year 2020, respectively. In its announcement, Matson noted the company “is calling these vessels the Kanaloa Class in honor of the ocean deity revered in the native Hawaiian culture and will name each of the new vessels after predecessor ships from its 134-year history. The first vessel will be named Lurline, the sixth Matson vessel to carry that name, while the second vessel will be its fifth named Matsonia.”
Matson further reported that the ships will be 869 feet long and 114 feet wide, with a deep draft of around 38 feet and enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles. In addition, the new vessels will have state-of-the-art green technology features, including a fuelefficient hull design, environmentally safe double-hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and dual-fuel engines, meaning that they will be able to operate at speeds up to 23 knots on either conventional fuel oils or liquefied natural gas (LNG) with some adaptation for LNG. “These advancements are important to Hawaii as a means to reduce fuel consumption, and will result in significant emissions reductions over time,” Matson pointed out.
The two Kanaloa Class ships will replace three diesel-powered vessels in active service, which will be moved to reserve status. Eventually, Matson will operate nine ships in its Hawaii service.
“This vessel order underscores Matson’s longstanding commitment to serve Hawaii with the largest, most reliable, efficient and environmentally friendly fleet for the long-term,” said Matt Cox, president and CEO. “The Kanaloa Class ships will be built specifically to meet Hawaii’s freight demands while reducing our environmental impact and improving our efficiency for decades to come.”
“We are very pleased to partner with Matson to build their next generation of shipping vessels,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO (and a former union mariner). “NASSCO has long played a leading role in revolutionizing the future of the American shipping industry. Our partnership with Matson builds upon NASSCO’s successful track record of constructing high-quality, highly efficient and on-time delivery for the Jones Act trade.”
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