The keel for the first of two liquefied natural gas-powered, combination container – Roll-On/Roll-Off (ConRo) ships for Crowley Maritime’s liner services group was laid yesterday at VT Halter Marine, Inc.’s facility in Pascagoula, Miss.
The vessel is the first Commitment Class ship, which will exclusively serve the US-Puerto Rico trade lane.
The Commitment Class, Jones Act ships will replace Crowley’s towed triple-deck barge fleet in the South Atlantic trade. These new ships, which will be named El Coquí (ko-kee) and Taíno (tahy-noh), are scheduled for delivery during the second and fourth quarter 2017 respectively.
VT Halter Marine and Crowley entered into a contract for the pair of ships in November 2013 and construction began with the first steel plate cutting in Pascagoula on October 22, 2014.
“This keel laying is a major milestone event in the construction schedule for the Crowley Commitment-Class program,” said Bill Skinner, 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 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.
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.