First steel for the ship was cut in October 2014 and it is now 25 percent complete.
"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."
"The entire team at VT Halter Marine is pleased and proud to be partnered with Crowley in the construction of these magnificent ships," said VT Halter Marine President and CEO Jack Prendergast. "It is a pleasure to see the hard work of the Crowley/Halter team come to fruition."
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 Roll-on/Roll-off garage.
Each ship will be powered by an MAN B&W 8S70ME-GI8.2 main engine and three MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines fueled by LNG.
The ship design is provided by Wärtsilä Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a leading 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. These new ships will offer customers fast ocean transit times, while accommodating the company's diverse equipment selection and cargo handling flexibility. El Coquí and Taíno are scheduled for delivery second and fourth quarter 2017 respectively.
Designing, building and operating LNG-powered vessels is in line with Crowley's overall EcoStewardship positioning and growth strategy. The company formed an LNG services group earlier this year to bring together the company's extensive resources to provide LNG vessel design and construction management; transportation; product sales and distribution, and full-scale, project management solutions.