Second Matson ‘Con-Ro’ Christened at NASSCO

Mike Schuler
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July 7, 2020

Matson’s newest ship was christened ‘Matsonia’ and launched into San Diego Bay at the NASSCO shipyard on July 2, 2020. It is the fifth ship to carry the iconic name in Matson’s 138-year history. Photo courtesy Matson

The second of two Kanalao-class “con-ro” ships for Honolulu-based Matson, Inc. (NYSE: MATX) was launched last week at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California.

The new vessel was christened ‘Matsonia,’ an iconic name in Matson’s long history dating to the construction of Matson’s first ship of that name in 1912.

The Matsonia is the second of two new ships being built for Matson by NASSCO at a total cost of approximately $500 million for the pair. It will be the fourth of four new vessels that Matson will put into service during 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The 3,500 TEU Kanaloa-class vessels come in at 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet and 50,000 metric tons.

Named in honor of the ocean deity revered in the native Hawaiian culture, Matson’s two “Kanaloa Class” vessels constructed at the NASSCO shipyard are built on a 3,500 TEU* vessel platform. Matsonia will join Lurline as Matson’s largest ships and the largest con-ro vessels ever constructed in the U.S.

The Kanaloa-class are also among Matson’s fastest vessels, with a top speed of 23 knots providing fast service to Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.

Both new Kanaloa Class vessels will have an enclosed garage with room for approximately 500 vehicles, plus ample space for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo. They will also feature state-of-the-art green technology, including a fuel-efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and the first Tier 3 dual fuel engines to be deployed in containerships regularly serving West Coastports.

Under the latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for engine manufacturers, Tier 3 engines reduce the levels of particulate emissions by 40 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 20 percent, as compared to Tier 2 standards.

“Matson is already benefitting from the speed, capacity and improved environmental profile of the three new ships we’ve put into service since 2018,” said Matt Cox, Matson’s chairman and chief executive officer, after the shipyard ceremony. “Matsonia will be our fourth new ship, completing a three-year fleet renewal program that positions us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come.”

“As a proud U.S. company and Jones Act carrier, our investment in this new ship is about much more than maintaining a high level of service to Hawaii. It also helps drive substantial economic benefits in and opportunities in communities around the Pacific, where this vessel will operate,” Cox said.

Matson is expected to take delivery of the vessel in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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