Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp. has signed a contract with VT Halter Marine Inc. to build two liquefied natural gas-powered combination container and roll-on, roll-off ships.
The combination vessels — ConRo ships for short — are designed to travel at speeds up to 22 knots and carry containers from 20-foot standard to 53 feet long and 102 inches wide, plus nearly 400 vehicles in enclosed car decking.
The ships, to be named El Coqui and Taino, are scheduled for delivery in 2017 to replace Crowley’s towed triple-deck barge fleet, in service since the early 1970s. The ship names have origins in Puerto Rico, which Crowley provides shipping and logistics services with the U.S. mainland.
The vessel design is by Wartsila Ship Design in partnership with Seattle-based Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime. The double-hulled ships will have a cargo capacity of about 2,400 20-foot equivalent units, plus the vehicle space. Jensen will provide construction management and shipyard construction supervision.
“When we sat down with Jensen and Wartsila to design these ships, we started with a clean slate to address and incorporate the specific needs of the Puerto Rico market,” John Hourihan, Crowley senior vice president and general manager of Puerto Rico and Caribbean services, said in a news release. The ships will speed transit times and keep the ability to handle 53-foot and refrigerated equipment, he said.
The ships’ sustainability credentials are expected to include CLEAN notation and Green Passport, both by Det Norske Veritas.