Thordon Bearings has signed a landmark contract to supply COMPAC seawater-lubricated propeller shaft bearing solutions to two Jones Act containerships under construction at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI) for Matson Navigation Company, Inc.
The order is significant in that it represents the first large containership reference for the manufacturer and the largest commercial ship propeller shafts to be fitted with COMPAC bearings.
The 3600TEU ‘Aloha Class’ vessels, the largest Jones Act containerships ever built, will each feature a COMPAC bearing system for a 930mm diameter shaft driving an 8.1m diameter fixed pitch propeller.
Matt Cox, President and CEO, Matson, said. “These new ships are the future for Hawaii shipping and will bring a new level of efficiency and effectiveness to our service. The substantial investment in new technology underscores Matson’s long-term commitment to Hawaii and our desire to serve the islands in the best, most environmentally friendly way into the future.”
Craig Carter, Thordon Bearings’ Head of Marketing and Customer Services, said: “The COMPAC solution is very much in keeping with Matson’s environmental and sustainability objectives. As with all its vessels, the Aloha-class will feature a number of environmentally safe technologies, but the addition of seawater-lubricated shaft bearings will reduce even further the impact its operations have on the marine environment. Our COMPAC system obviates completely the risk of non-compliance with US Vessel General Permit stern tube oil to sea interface rules and ensures that the vessels can operate safely, responsibly and legally in US waters.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled in December 2013 that vessels over 24m (79ft) must adopt environmentally acceptable lubricants in all oil-to-sea interfaces before their next drydocking, recommending that seawater lubricated bearings be used in propeller shaft lines.
David Marshall, Thordon Bearings Senior Regional Manager, said: “This order is one of the most important commercial ship contracts we have ever received for the COMPAC solution. Not only does it provide us with a number of significant ‘firsts’, it shows that liner companies trading in US waters are taking the new VGP rules very seriously. That Matson has become the first liner company to make the switch delivers confidence to the market that seawater-lubrication is the only environmentally and commercially acceptable solution to operational oil pollution.”
Each 259m long, DNV GL classed vessel features double hull fuel tanks, a freshwater ballast system and an energy-efficient hull form and a dual-fuel propulsion system future-proofed for conversion to LNG. Main engine output is rated at 38,000kW at 84rev/min to deliver a service speed of 23kts.
Thordon’s scope of supply includes COMPAC elastomeric bearings with a tapered keyset, a Thordon Water Quality package, bronze liners and Thor-Coat shaft coating, meeting classification requirements for extended shaft withdrawal periods.
When delivered from the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard in the third and fourth quarters 2018, the Aloha newbuilds will enter service on Matson’s West Coast-Hawaii route in anticipation of an increased demand for higher cargo capacity and diversity.