Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA, has begun construction of a new fleet of containerships for the US-Hawaii trade route, with planned delivery dates for the first pair in 2020 and the second pair in 2021. The vessels are being designed to address the present market trends for larger sized containers, faster transit times and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuel.
When strict MARPOL/ECA emissions regulations take effect in 2020, several of the older steam powered vessels serving the Hawaii trade route today will be out of compliance without substantial, costly modifications. Even if these ageing steamships are modified, they would be less reliable and carry significantly higher operating costs than modern vessels in areas such as fuel consumption and manning and maintenance requirements.
PSI believes these circumstances create a unique opportunity for a new Jones Act carrier to enter the Hawaii containership trade with a fleet of cost-efficient and eco-friendly container vessels built by PSI. Furthermore, unless these new ships enter the Hawaii trade route starting in 2020, local commerce may be adversely impacted by the new emissions standards. The company has commenced actively promoting the formation of a new entrant into the containership trade between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii to operate these vessels. Presently, this trade route is serviced by only two carriers and is reliant in part on a group of near end-of-life steamships.
The modern LNG-fueled containerships will be the direct continuation of the series of two similar 3,600 TEU Aloha class containerships with expected deliveries in 2018 and 2019 that PSI is presently constructing for the Hawaii containership trade. PSI believes that the operational benefits offered by series production with familiar ships, coupled with its historical access to vessel financing, places PSI in an advantageous position to build vessels for a new cargo liner service between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii.
PSI has initiated placing orders and making financial commitments on long-lead items.
(Source: Philly Shipyard Image supplied by Philly Shipyard, Inc.)
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