Crowley Maritime Corp’s first LNG-fueled ConRo ship El Coquí was launched at the VT Halter Marine shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
El Coquí 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, Crowley said in a statement.
The vessel, 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 Ro/Ro decks.
It was the first milestone Crowley expects to hit during the week as part of its US$550 million project to expand and modernize the company’s shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Speaking at the launching event, company’s chairman and CEO, Tom Crowley said, “we are expecting the arrival of three, new gantry cranes at our new terminal pier in San Juan later this week, and two, 1-million liter cryogenic tanks at our LNG bunkering facility being built at the Port of Jacksonville, Florida.”
Two 260-ton, cryogenic LNG tanks, constructed by Chart Industries in Europe, are expected to arrive at Crowley’s leased property at JAXPORT’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal within a week. The facility, scheduled for completion this summer, will be adjacent to Crowley’s operating terminal and serve as the fueling station for the LNG-powered ships.