Crowley Maritime Corp has completed its US$550M investment in environmentally sustainable shipping and associated port upgrades by taking delivery in late 2018 of Taíno, the second of the world’s first two LNG-powered combination container/roro ships, from shipbuilder VT Halter Marine.
The Commitment-class vessel will make its maiden voyage on 8 January, joining sister ship El Coquí, delivered in July, in plying the trade between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Crowley has served this route since 1954, longer than any other American shipping company. Like El Coquí, Taino will be operated by Crowley’s global ship management group. Construction was managed in the shipyard by Crowley Solutions, including naval architects and engineers from company subsidiary Jensen Maritime.
The new Crowley ships, built specifically for the Puerto Rico trade, are 219.5 m long and 26,500 dwt. The LNG-powered engines can transport up to 2,400 TEU at a cruising speed of 22 knots. The vessels are built to accommodate a wide range of container sizes and types, including 53 foot by 102 inch wide, high-capacity containers, up to 300 refrigerated containers, and a mix of about 400 cars and larger vehicles in the enclosed and ventilated roro decks.
“From a business standpoint, Taíno and El Coquí are key components of our integrated logistics offerings that are bringing speed to market and creating a competitive advantage for our customers in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” said chairman and chief executive Tom Crowley. “With our own vessels and proprietary transportation and distribution network, we’re reducing friction and complexity while increasing the velocity of customers’ goods moving to market and reducing their landed costs.”
According to Crowley Maritime, LNG-fuelled propulsion cuts emissions significantly, including reducing CO2 by more than 35% per container compared with current fossil fuels. Working with Eagle LNG Partners, the ships are bunkered from a shoreside fuel depot at Jacksonville. The upgrades at the company’s Isla Grande terminal include a new 274 m long, 35 m wide concrete pier and associated dredging needed to accommodate the two new ships.
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