VT Halter Begins Building LNG-powered ConRo Ships for Crowley
- VT Halter Marine – Crowley Team
- From left: Jensen's Dean Sahr, Manager, New Construction Projects and Jonathan Smith, Director, Construction Management, with Crowley's Ray Martus, Vice President, Construction Management; Tucker Gilliam, Vice President, Liner Services; Patrick Sperry, Manager, Construction Management; and Cole Cosgrove, Vice President, Operations
VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), has commenced construction on the first of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, combination Container Roll-On/Roll-Off (ConRo) vessels for Crowley following the signing of the contract, which took place in November 2013.
“We have waited with great anticipation for the Commitment Class build program to start,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico/Caribbean liner services. “These new ships will embody superior technology and construction and we are anxious to get them into service for our partners in Puerto Rico.”
The new ConRo vessel has been designed to maximize the carriage of 102-inch-wide containers, which offer the most cubic cargo capacity in the trade. The vessel measures 219.5m long, 32.3m wide (beam), with a deep draft of 10m, and an approximate deadweight capacity of 26,500 metric tons. Cargo capacity will be approximately 2,400 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent-units), with additional space for nearly 400 vehicles. The main propulsion and auxiliary engines will be fueled with environmentally-friendly LNG, setting a new standard for responsible shipping. The vessels will be built at the Pascagoula facility, with deliveries scheduled for mid and late 2017. The ship design is provided by Wartsila Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a leading Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.
Bill Skinner, Chief Executive Officer of VT Halter Marine, said, “VT Halter Marine is pleased and excited to announce the first steel plate cut which launches the official start of construction for these new LNG ConRo ships. These vessels signify how important the Jones Act is in keeping Americans employed in the marine industry. We are most grateful for Crowley’s continued confidence in VT Halter Marine.”
The Commitment Class, Jones Act ships will replace Crowley’s towed triple-deck barge fleet, which has served the trade continuously and with distinction since the early 1970s. These new ships, which will be named El Coquí and Taíno, will offer customers fast ocean transit times, while accommodating the company’s diverse equipment selection and cargo handling flexibility – benefits customers have enjoyed for nearly 60 years. El Coquí and Taíno are scheduled for delivery second and fourth quarter 2017 respectively.
Designing, building and operating LNG-powered vessels falls line with Crowley’s overall EcoStewardship positioning and growth strategy, the company said. Crowley formed an LNG services group earlier this year to bring together the company’s resources to provide LNG vessel design and construction management; transportation; product sales and distribution and full-scale, project management solutions.