Matson’s Manukai Heads Toward Panama Canal

Monday, September 08, 2003
Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (KPSI), of Philadelphia, PA., today delivered the M.V Manukai, a CV 2600 Philadelphia Class Containership. This is the first ship to be constructed at the new yard located in the former Philadelphia Naval Base.

The M.V. Manukai is the first ship in a series of two containerships to be built for Matson Navigation Company, a shipping company based in San Francisco, CA. The U.S. Jones Act ship was christened by Margaret Inouye, wife of Hawaii Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, at Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard on July 12, 2003. This ship is the first vessel to be built at Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard, and the first new ship to be built in the Philadelphia Naval Business Center (PNBC) since 1969, when the amphibious command ship Blue Ridge (LCC-19) was built and launched by the Philadelphia Naval Yard. It is also the first new Matson vessel built since 1992, when the M.V. R.J. Pfeiffer entered the company's service.

Classed by ABS, the U.S.-flag ship will be one of eight ships deployed in Matson's service between the West Coast and Hawaii. Matson's Hawaii service includes the ports of Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and Honolulu. Soon after delivery, the ship will depart on its positioning voyage down the Atlantic coast and through the Panama Canal to California where it will enter service between The ship once in service will carry a broad range of commodities including grocery and retail supplies, refrigerated cargo, building materials, and all items necessary for the economy in Hawaii.

The $220 million contract for the two Jones Act containerships, which are a part of the Title XI financing program, was signed in May 2002 between KPSI and Matson. The start of hull assembly began in 2001, the vessel was launched in March 2003, and the sea trials took place in July 2003. The yard just recently moved forward from its start-up phase focusing on the recruiting and training of local workers to its full production phase focusing on the construction of the ships. The ship was built by the yard together with a large number of turnkey and other suppliers to outfit the ship with the most state-of-the-art equipment.

Manukai, under the command of Capt. Katharine Sweeney, is scheduled to sail from the East Coast to the Panama Canal and West Coast the week of September 7, 2003.

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