Matson Navigation Co. Inc. (Matson), a U.S. carrier in the Pacific and subsidiary of Matson Inc., has extended its commitment to cleaner shipping by placing orders for two new dual-fuel Con-Ro vessels to join its Hawaii fleet. The company first ordered dual-fuel ships in November 2013, being two Aloha-class 3600 TEU containerships.
Matson has signed a contract with General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, to build two new combination container and roll-on/roll-off (Con-Ro) vessels at a contract price of $511 million for both vessels with deliveries scheduled for the end of 2019 and mid-year 2020. The Aloha-class dual-fuel vessels are due for delivery in the second half of 2018.
Matson is calling these vessels the Kanaloa Class in honour 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.
The Kanaloa Class vessels will be built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform, which is 265 meters long, 34.9 meters wide (beam), with a deep draft of 11.5 meters and enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles.
The new vessels will have state-of-the-art green technology features, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks 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.
The two Kanaloa Class ships will replace three diesel powered vessels in active service, which will be moved to reserve status. With delivery of the Kanaloa Class ships, along with its two new Aloha Class ships, Matson will have completed the renewal of its Hawaii fleet, allowing it to retire its seven older steamship vessels that will no longer comply with environmental regulations in 2020 without substantial modification.
The larger capacity of the Aloha Class and Kanaloa Class vessels will allow Matson to return to an optimal nine-ship fleet deployment in Hawaii, increasing efficiency and lowering operating costs. The Kanaloa Class vessels are expected to be more fuel efficient than the ships they will replace and will add rolling stock carrying capacity while lowering operating, repair and maintenance, and dry-docking costs.
“This vessel order underscores Matson’s long-standing 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.”