Steel Cut On Crowley’s LNG-Powered ConRos

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 13
October 22, 2014

An artist’s rendering of Crowley’s new Commitment Class, LNG-Powered, ConRo Vessel. Image (c) Crowley Maritime Corp.

Crowley Maritime Corp. has announced that VT Halter Marine, Inc. in Pascagoula, Mississippi has cut steel on the first of two new LNG-powered ConRo ships for Crowley’s liner services group.

“We have waited with great anticipation for the Commitment Class build program to start,” said John Hourihan, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico/Caribbean liner services. “These new ships will embody superior technology and construction and we are anxious to get them into service for our partners in Puerto Rico.”

The Commitment Class ships, a combination container – Roll-On/Roll-Off, have been designed to maximize the carrying capacity of of 53-foot, 102-inch-wide containers, offering the most cubic cargo capacity in the trade, according to Crowley. The ships will be 219.5 meters long, 32.3 meters wide, have a deep draft of 10 meters, and an approximate deadweight capacity of 26,500 metric tonnes. Cargo capacity will be approximately 2,400 TEUs, with additional space for nearly 400 vehicles in an enclosed Ro/Ro garage. The ships will be fitted with MAN Diesel & Turbo LNG-fueled 2-stroke ME GI main engines and three MAN 9L28/32DF auxiliary engines. The design was developed by Wartsila Ship Design in conjunction with Crowley subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a leading Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.

The Commitment Class ships will replace Crowley’s towed triple-deck barge fleet, which has served the U.S. – Puerto Rico trade with Jones Act service continuously since the early 1970s, Crowley says. The new ships, named El Coquí (ko-kee) and Taíno (tahy-noh), are scheduled for delivery in the second and fourth quarter of 2017, respectively.

Left to right: Jensen’s Dean Sahr, manager, new construction projects and Jonathan Smith, director, construction management, with Crowley’s Ray Martus, vice president, construction management; Tucker Gilliam, vice president, liner services; Patrick Sperry, manager, construction management; and Cole Cosgrove, vice president, operations.

“VT Halter Marine is pleased and excited to announce the first steel plate cut which launches the official start of construction for these new LNG ConRo ships. These vessels signify how important the Jones Act is to Americans employed in the marine industry. We are most grateful for Crowley’s continued confidence in VT Halter Marine,” said Bill Skinner, CEO, VT Halter Marine.

Powered by LNG, the Crowley ships will be among the most environmentally friendly in the United States. Crowley says that designing, building and operating LNG-powered vessels is very much in line with its overall EcoStewardship© positioning and growth strategy. The company formed an LNG services group earlier this year to bring together the company’s extensive resources to provide LNG vessel design and construction management; transportation; product sales and distribution, and full-scale, project management solutions.

Commitment Class Specifications:

  • Names: El Coquí and Taíno
  • Flag Registry: United States (U.S.)
  • Classification Society: Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
  • Class Notations: X 1A1 General Cargo Carrier, CONTAINER, RO/RO, NAUTICUS
    (Newbuilding), GAS FUELED, DG-P, BIS, TMON, BWM-T, E0, NAUT-OC, CLEA
  • Type: Container-Ro/Ro (ConRo)


  • Length: 219.5m
  • Breadth: 32.2m
  • Depth: 18.0m


  • 26,500 DWT, 2,400 TEUs
  • Nearly 400 vehicles
  • 300 reefer plugs
  • Speed: 22 Knots
  • Builder: VT Halter Marine
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