Crowley Reveals New $21 Million Investment in Puerto Rico

An artist's rendering of Crowley’s new Commitment-Class, LNG-Powered ConRo vessels. Image: Crowley Maritime Corp.
An artist’s rendering of Crowley’s new Commitment-Class, LNG-Powered ConRo vessels. Image: Crowley Maritime Corp.

Jacksonville, Florida-based Crowley Maritime Corp. announced Monday an additional $21 million investment for improvements and upgrades at its Isla Grande port terminal in San Juan, Puerto in preparation for the arrival of its LNG-powered ConRos in 2017.

The investment comes in the form of a construction contract awarded to Del Valle Group, S.P. of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. The construction will involve the expansion of the terminal’s capacity for handling refrigerated containers, paving 15 new acres of land to accommodate container stacking, installing a new electrical substation to power three ship-to-shore gantry cranes, the construction of a new seven-lane terminal exit, and the installation of hardware required for a new terminal operating software system.

The contract is the third awarded in relation with Crowley’s investment in its Isla Grande terminal in preparation for the arrival next year of the first of Crowley’s two new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, Commitment Class ships now under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

“We are very pleased to have this final contract awarded as part of the transformation of our terminal at Isla Grande,” said Jose “Pache” Ayala, Crowley vice president, Puerto Rico. “The improvements being made to the terminal will provide customers with faster gate times and overall shorter turn times for truckers in and out of the terminal. The overall improved efficiency we will be able to achieve will further enhance the excellent service our customers already receive.”

The terminal design has been developed over the past year by Crowley with Harbor Consulting Engineers, Inc., of Seattle, Wash., as the lead design firm for the project, Wood Harbinger, Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., as electrical engineers and AG Environmental PSC, of San Juan as environmental engineers. Harbor is the Engineer of Record for the project, providing construction supervision services.

The latest contract follows a $48.5 million construction contract in 2015 for a new pier at the Isla Grande terminal after an agreement with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA) for a 30-year lease extension for the Isla Grande property. That construction contract was awarded to L.P.C. & D. Inc., of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, and includes the development of a new 900-foot-long by 114-foot-wide concrete pier and all associated dredging for the Commitment Class ships. Crowley’s terminal expansion also includes the construction and installation of three new ship-to-shore container gantry cranes under a separate contract.

“This contract represents the last major contract to be awarded in our half-a-billion-dollar investment in our Puerto Rico Jones Act service,” said John Hourihan, Crowley senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico. “With construction of both Commitment Class ships well underway, dredging at Isla Grande completed and pile driving operations associated with the pier ongoing, we are definitely beginning to see the results of our investment taking shape.”

Crowley has served the Puerto Rico market from the 75-acre Isla Grande terminal since 1954. With over 250 Puerto Rico employees, Crowley is the number 1 ocean carrier between the island commonwealth and the U.S. mainland with more weekly sailings and more cargo carried annually than any other shipping line.