BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Keppel AmFELS reached a pair of construction milestones April 30 in the building of two containership vessels for Pasha Hawaii.
Executives from both companies were joined by Brownsville Navigation District Chairman John Reed and other federal, state and local dignitaries for the ceremonial keel laying for M/V George III and the cutting of the first steel plates for M/V Janet Marie, the two containerships currently being built at the Port of Brownsville. Delivery of the vessels is expected in 2020.
“We are pleased to be able to support the Pasha Hawaii fleet with the design, engineering and construction of the two new dual-fuel LNG containerships,” said Simon Lee, president of Keppel AmFELS. “Texas currently ranks third in the nation for domestic maritime jobs and we are proud to support a thriving skilled workforce in our local community as a leading shipyard.”
The Port of Brownsville is the only place in Texas where deep-draft ships are being built.
“Not only is Keppel AmFELS pioneering ship building at the Port of Brownsville, it’s introducing an entirely new industry to the Lonestar State, helping create 700 high-paying new jobs for our community,“ said John Reed, Brownsville Navigation District chairman. “This partnership between Pasha Hawaii and Keppel AmFELS allows the port to continue diversifying its assets, attracting new customers and industries to our region.”
The new vessels will operate on LNG from day one in service, substantially reducing the vessels’ environmental footprints. Energy savings will also be achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller.
Upon completion, both 774-foot U.S. Jones Act vessels will join Pasha Hawaii’s fleet, serving the Hawaii/U.S. trade lane. The Jones Act is a federal law regulating maritime commerce in the U.S. The law requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned and operated only by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
“Construction of the new vessels continues to progress on schedule,” said Pasha Group President and CEO George Pasha IV. “These LNG-powered containerships were designed to support the needs of shippers in the Hawaii trade lane, while minimizing environmental impact in the communities we serve. Adding George III and Janet Marie to our existing fleet will greatly enhance our service capabilities and on-time delivery, marking three generations of service to Hawaii.”