Matson Christens Second Aloha-Class Containership at Philly Shipyard

Kaimana Hila christening
Michael T Mallon / Delwareriveraerials.com

U.S. shipping firm Matson (NYSE: MATX) christened the second of two Aloha Class containerships built for Matson at Philly Shipyard.

The new vessel, named ‘Kaimana Hila,’ is the sister ship to ‘Daniel K. Inouye,’ which was christened in June and went into service in November of 2018. “Kaimana Hila” is Hawaiian for “Diamond Head,” the name of Hawaii’s iconic landmark crater near Waikiki Beach.

The two ships were built for Honolulu-based Matson by Philly Shipyard at a total cost of approximately $418 million. They are the first of four new vessels that Matson will put into its Hawaii service during the next 18 months.

Weighing over 51,400 metric tons, the two 850-foot and 3,600 TEU capacity Aloha-class vessels are Matson’s largest ships to date and the largest containerships ever built in the United States by TEU count. They are also the fastest vessels in Matson’s fleet, with a top speed of nearly 24 knots.

In addition, both vessels are built the latest environmental technology, including dual fuel engines that can be converted to run on liquefied natural gas, double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and a more fuel efficient hull design.

The vessels are certified to DNV GL class notation, Hull: 100 A5 Container ship BWM (D2) DG Gas ready (AEI, D, MEI, P, S) IW LC NAV-INS RSD; Machinery: MC AUT EP-D.

Matson says the vessels will help ensure on-time deliveries to Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.

“This is a proud day for everyone at Matson,” said Matt Cox, Matson’s chairman and chief executive officer, at the shipyard ceremony. “Daniel K. Inouye has performed well in its first four months of service, and we are excited to have Kaimana Hila joining it soon. These new vessels herald the beginning of a new era in our Hawaii service and will allow us to serve our customers better than ever for decades to come.”

Steinar Nerbovik, Philly Shipyard President and CEO, said, “I’d like to extend my gratitude to Matson. Construction of the Kaimana Hila, and its earlier sister ship, has provided good skilled work for nearly 1,500 people at Philly Shipyard over the last three years. We are immensely proud to provide another quality and safe vessel that Matson can be proud of for years to come.”

Matson invited U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii to officially christen the vessel by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne against the ship.