Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (APSI), the sole operating subsidiary of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (Oslo: AKPS), began production activities today on two 3,600 TEU “Aloha Class” containerships that it is building for Matson Navigation Company, Inc. (Matson). The contracts for the vessels were originally signed in 2013 for a total value of $418 million, with deliveries expected in Q3 and Q4 of 2018.
Since signing the contracts, engineering, planning and procurement work have been underway. The 260 meter (853 foot) long vessels will be the largest Jones Act containerships ever constructed and will be utilized in Matson’s service from the U.S. West Coast to Hawaii. The vessels will be built with dual fuel engines that can be adapted to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) and are designed to operate at speeds in excess of 23 knots.
After a small ceremony in the shipyard’s fabrication shop, during which cutting commenced on the first steel plate of the two vessel series, Steinar Nerbovik, President and CEO of APSI, remarked: “We are excited to partner with Matson again and return to our construction roots building containerships. It’s an exciting time to be a shipbuilder as we embark on simultaneously building containerships and product tankers, fulfilling our commitments to customers and shareholders.”
Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and Matson previously partnered on the construction of four containerships that were delivered between 2003 and 2006. All four vessels are currently servicing Matson’s Pacific trade.
Also under construction at the shipyard are three 50,000 dwt product tankers for Crowley Maritime Corporation, with planned deliveries through 2016, and the first two of four additional 50,000 dwt tankers for a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, Inc., with planned deliveries between November 2016 and November 2017. On July 16, 2015, the company announced that it intends to change its name to Philly Shipyard by the end of the year, pending shareholder approval.