Matson has announced that its subsidiary, Matson Navigation Company, Inc., has signed a contract with General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, to build two new combination container and roll-on/roll-off (Con-Ro) vessels for its Hawaii fleet at a contract price of $511m for both vessels. Deliveries are scheduled for the end of 2019 and mid-year 2020.
Matson is calling the vessels the Kanaloa Class, which will be built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform, that is 265 m long, with a 34.9 m beam, and with a deep draft of 11.5 m. The vessel platform also features an enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles. In addition, the new vessels will have green technology features, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and dual-fuel engines, meaning that they will be able to operate at speeds up to 23 knots on either conventional fuel oils or LNG with some adaptation for LNG.
The two Kanaloa Class ships will replace three diesel powered vessels in active service, which will be moved to reserve status. With delivery of the Kanaloa Class ships, along with its two new Aloha Class ships, Matson will have completed the renewal of its Hawaii fleet, allowing it to retire its seven older steamship vessels that will no longer comply with environmental regulations in 2020 without substantial modification.
The larger capacity of the Aloha Class and Kanaloa Class vessels will allow Matson to return to an optimal nine-ship fleet deployment in Hawaii, increasing efficiency and lowering operating costs.
Matson expects to finance the Kanaloa Class vessels primarily through cash flows from operations, borrowing available under the Company’s unsecured revolving credit facility and additional debt financings, which could include US Government guaranteed vessel finance bonds.