Florida-based Crowley Maritime Corporation has received international acclaim for its new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ships El Coquí and Taíno. The company gained the ‘Shoreside Team of the Year’ Award during the Safety at Sea Awards ceremony held by Safety at Sea International magazine recently in London.
According to the publication, which is published by London-based IHS Markit, this award recognizes actions or intervention that have been notable or gone beyond the call of duty. Judges said the award category required “collaboration and co-operation, blended with commitment to safety … and the winner has excelled in all.”
Specifically, Crowley was honoured for the design, development and construction of its two new Commitment Class, liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ConRo ships and the terminals that serve them. The project is part of a $550 million investment modernizing and enhancing the company’s end-to-end supply chain solutions, featuring vessels running on cleaner fuel that are first in their class. In addition, the company spearheaded innovations at its Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan, Puerto Rico, including new cranes, a 900-foot new pier and enhanced terminal operations that speed cargo in and out. In Jacksonville, a unique LNG Fuel Depot is operating at JAXPORT, providing dependable bunkering.
“This was a joint effort of hundreds of shoreside and sailing mariners,” said Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, Crowley SHIPPING. “Transitioning vessels from concept into an operating status takes the right people, and this was carefully done by individually selecting each superintendent and crew member.”
“Ensuring our staff had the necessary tools to safely operate these complex vessels was key. We assigned operating personnel to the yard team well ahead of equipment installation and commissioning. Operating engineers established inventory and maintenance system requirements. Crowley provided over 40 hours of online training to meet company and regulatory familiarization for operating personnel shoreside and onboard. We also provided weeks of classroom training specific to LNG operations. The team was also committed to building strong relationships with our partners and local, state and federal authorities to make this program safe and successful,” said Crowley’s Cole Cosgrove, vice president, global ship management.
As part of the training curriculum for these industry-defining LNG-powered vessels, Crowley developed programs to train mariners and shoreside personnel on main and auxiliary engine operation and maintenance, programmable logic controller training, electrical certification for hazardous spaces, deck and engine officer skills assessments, development of vessel specific training videos for special operations like deployment of the vessel stern ramp and introduction to Crowley’s Safety Management System, corporate goals and values, all of which are the basis of the company’s safety culture program, “Leading One Crowley.”
El Coquí and Taíno are among the world’s first ConRos powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ships are dedicated to the U.S. mainland-Puerto Rico cargo trade and have a cruising speed of 22 knots. The vessels can carry about 2,400 containers in a wide range of sizes and types – including 53-foot by 102-inch-wide, high-capacity containers and refrigerated containers. Within the ships is an enclosed, ventilated and weather-tight Ro/Ro deck that can protectively carry cars and larger vehicles. This type of shipboard garage is offered exclusively by Crowley in the trade.