Matson, Inc., a leading U.S. carrier in the Pacific, and General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard, christened the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off (Con-Ro) ship ever built in the United States in a ceremony at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, CA on Saturday, June 15. It features the first Tier 3 dual-fuel engine to be deployed in containerships serving West Coast ports.
The new vessel, named Lurline, is the first of two new ships being built for Honolulu-based Matson by NASSCO at a total cost of approximately $500 million for the pair, and the third of four new vessels that Matson will put into service during 2018, 2019 and 2020. Named in honour of the ocean deity revered in the native Hawaiian culture, Matson’s two “Kanaloa Class” vessels under construction at the NASSCO shipyard are being built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform.
At 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet and weighing in at over 50,000 metric tons, Lurline will be Matson’s largest ship and the largest con-ro vessel ever constructed in the U.S. It will also be one of Matson’s fastest vessels, with a top speed of 23 knots, helping ensure on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.
Both new Kanaloa Class vessels will have an enclosed garage with room for approximately 500 vehicles plus ample space for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo. They will also feature state-of-the-art green technology, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and the first Tier 3 dual fuel engines to be deployed in containerships serving West Coast ports.
Under the latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for engine manufacturers, Tier 3 engines reduce the levels of particulate emissions by 40 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 20 percent, as compared to Tier 2 standards.
“The great speed, capacity and environmental improvements of this new ship position us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come,” said Matt Cox, Matson’s chairman and chief executive officer, after the shipyard ceremony.
“As a proud U.S. company and Jones Act carrier, our investment in this new ship is about much more than maintaining a high level of service to Hawaii. It also helps drive substantial economic benefits in and opportunities in communities around the Pacific, where this vessel will operate,” Cox said.
Matson invited Constance Lau, a member of Matson’s board of directors, to officially christen the vessel by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne against the ship’s hull. Immediately after the bottle was broken, the vessel was released from its build ways and slid backward into San Diego Bay. Lurline was then docked at NASSCO’s nearby testing and trials berth, where the final stages of construction will be completed. Matson is expected to take delivery of the vessel in late October, 2019.