Crowley launches first LNG-fueled ship
Crowley Maritime Corp. and VT Halter Marine launched Crowley’s new Commitment Class ship El Coquí, one of the world’s first combination container/Roll on-Roll off (ConRo) ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Putting the ship into the water on Monday was the first in a series of milestones expected to be achieved this week as part of Crowley’s $550 million project to expand and modernize the company’s shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. El Coquí, named after a beloved frog native to the island, will now proceed through the final topside construction and testing phase before beginning service in the U.S. Jones Act trade during the second half of 2017. “This was a special day for Crowley, VT Halter Marine and all of the men and women who designed, and who are constructing, this world-class ship,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. El Coquí, like her sister ship Taíno, will be able to transport up to 2,400 twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEUs) and a mix of nearly 400 cars and larger vehicles in the enclosed, ventilated and weather-tight Ro/Ro decks. A wide range of container sizes and types can be accommodated, ranging from 20-foot standard, to 53-foot by 102-inch-wide, high-capacity units, as well as up to 300 refrigerated containers. Construction of both El Coquí and Taíno, the latter named for an indigenous people of Puerto Rico, is being managed in the shipyard by Crowley Marine Solutions, which includes naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime.