Pascagoula-based shipbuilder VT Halter Marine has launched Crowley Maritime Corp.’s second Commitment Class container/roll on-roll off (ConRo) ship, Taíno.
The LNG-powered ConRo will now proceed through the final topside construction and testing phase before beginning service in the U.S. Jones Act trade in 2018.
Taíno, will join its sister ship, El Coquí, which was launched in March this year and is now in final testing prior to entering service in early 2018.
Once delivered, the duo will replace tugs and triple-deck Roll-on/Roll-off barges currently sailing between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico.
“Monday’s launch represents another momentous achievement for the men and women at Crowley, VT Halter Marine and other partners, who have dedicated themselves to designing and building this pioneering ship as well as sister ship, El Coquí,” the company’s CEO Tom Crowley said.
Based on their design specifications, the ConRo pair will be able to transport up to 2,400 TEU and a mix of nearly 400 cars and larger vehicles in the enclosed Ro/Ro decks respectively. According to Crowley, the ships will be able to accommodate container sizes ranging from 20-foot standard, to 53-foot by 102-inch-wide, high-capacity units, as well as up to 300 refrigerated containers.
VT Halter Marine, part of ST Engineering, and Crowley signed the construction contract for the duo in November 2013. The U.S. shipbuilder started building the LNG-fueled ships in October 2014.
Image Courtesy: Crowley; Video Courtesy: VT Halter Marine