Shipbuilding: Crowley's First LNG ConRo Ship on Schedule
Construction of the first of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, combination container – Roll-On/Roll-Off (ConRo) ships for Crowley Maritime Corporation’s liner services group is now 25 percent complete, the company announced.
The two ships, which will be named El Coquí and Taíno, are currently under construction at VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of VT Systems, Inc., a project that began in November 2013. The ceremonial first steel plate cutting was celebrated with a ceremony held at VT Halter the following year, in October 2014.
“Week by week, we have watched the pair of Commitment Class ships begin to take shape,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico/Caribbean liner services. “It’s been incredible to watch. Once fully constructed, these new vessels will embody superior technology and construction and, while we are anxious to get them into service for our partners in Puerto Rico, we are thrilled that they are coming together on schedule.”
A video describing the progress may be viewed here.
The Commitment Class ships have been designed to maximize the carriage of 53-foot, 102-inch-wide containers, which offer the most cubic cargo capacity in the trade. The ships will be 219.5 meters long, 32.3 meters wide (beam), have a deep draft of 10 meters, 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 in an enclosed Ro/Ro garage.
The main propulsion and auxiliary engines will be fueled by LNG. The ship design is provided by Wartsila Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.
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. El Coquí and Taíno are scheduled for delivery second and fourth quarter 2017, respectively.
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.