VT Halter Marine cuts steel for second Crowley ConRo

MAY 28, 2015 — Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, Inc. yesterday held a steel cutting ceremony at its Pascagoula, MS, shipyard to mark the start of construction of Taíno, the second of two LNG-fueled ConRo ships for Crowley Maritime Corporation's liner services group.

"This is a momentous occasion in the history of the company and in the Commitment Class build program," said Crowley's John Hourihan, senior VP and GM, Puerto Rico liner services. "Like our customers, we have been waiting with great anticipation for construction to begin on the Taíno, and we look forward to the day in the near future that they will begin service between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico. These new ships embody superior technology, and will offer enhanced performance and safety while setting new standards for environmentally responsible shipping."

"We are pleased and proud to be building these superb ships for Crowley. Crowley is an outstanding company and a leader in the industry and we are delighted to be partnering with them on these cutting edge vessels," said Jack Prendergast, chief executive officer, VT Halter Marine.

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 tonnes. 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 environmentally friendly LNG. The ship design was provided by Wartsila Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a leading Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.

The 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.

The new ships are scheduled for delivery second and fourth quarter 2017 respectively.

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