US-based shipping company Matson Navigation Company has signed a USD 511 million contract with shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO to build two new combination container and roll-on/roll-off (Con-Ro) vessels for its Hawaii fleet.
The Kanaloa Class vessels are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019 and mid-year 2020. The first vessel will be named Lurline, the sixth Matson vessel to carry that name, while the second vessel will be its fifth named Matsonia.
The Kanaloa Class vessels will be built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform, which is 265 meters long, 34,9 meters wide, with a deep draft of 11,5 meters and enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles. Additionally, the new vessels will have green technology features, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and dual-fuel engines, the company said.
The new vessels are set to replace three diesel powered vessels in active service, which will be moved to reserve status.
With delivery of the Kanaloa Class ships, along with its two new Aloha Class ships, Matson will have completed the renewal of its Hawaii fleet, allowing it to retire seven older steamship vessels that will no longer comply with environmental regulations in 2020 without substantial modification.
“The Kanaloa Class ships will be built specifically to meet Hawaii’s freight demands while reducing our environmental impact and improving our efficiency for decades to come,” Matt Cox, president and CEO, said.
Matson expects to finance the Kanaloa Class vessels primarily through cash flows from operations, borrowing available under the company’s unsecured revolving credit facility and additional debt financings, which could include US Government guaranteed vessel finance bonds.