A recent ceremony in Texas signaled upcoming new jobs for SIU members.
Seafarers-contracted Pasha Hawaii on Sept. 25 announced that the first steel plates had been cut four days earlier for the M/V George III, the first of two containerships being built for the company by Brownsville, Texas-based Keppel AmFELS. Both the George III and sister ship Janet Marie will be fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will sail in the Jones Act trade. According to Pasha, both Ohana Class ships are slated for delivery in 2020.
“This is great news for the SIU and great news for the United States,” said SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker. “Whenever new tonnage enters the Jones Act fleet, it’s a boost to America’s national, economic and homeland security.”
The 774-foot vessels will carry 2,525 TEUs apiece, with a sailing speed of 23 knots. The design of the ship’s hull “has been fully optimized using computational fluid dynamics, and will be one of the most hydrodynamically efficient hulls in the world,” the company noted.
The vessels have been named in honor of the parents of The Pasha Group President and CEO George Pasha IV.
“Three generations of our family’s vision exemplify our unwavering commitment to serving our customers and investing in the future of Hawaii,” said George Pasha IV. “We are marking the first production milestone of our new LNG ships, and honor the legacy of the Pasha ohana (family). We also commend the remarkable talents and organization of the highly skilled shipbuilders on the Keppel team who are working hard to transform these steel plates into the most environmentally efficient vessels for the Hawaii trade.”
The new vessels are expected to operate fully on LNG from day one in service. According to Pasha, this will benefit the environment, while energy savings “will also be achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller.”
The Jones Act has benefited the U.S. since its enactment in 1920. The law requires that cargo moving between domestic ports is carried aboard ships that are crewed, built, flagged and owned American.
According to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Jones Act helps maintain nearly 500,000 American jobs while contributing billions of dollars to the economy each year.