Matson continues to invest in LNG fuel

US shipping firm Matson continues to invest in liquefied natural gas as fuel and will convert another containership to be able to use LNG.

Last year, Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions won a contract from Matson Navigation to retrofit the main engine of the 3,600-teu LNG-ready, Daniel K. Inouye, built in 2018 by US-based Philly Shipyard and part of Matson’s Aloha Class vessels.

Singapore-based C-LNG Solutions will provide its LNG FGSS for the containership.

Now Matson has exercised an option from the contract in June 2022 and will convert the main engine aboard its 2019-built 3,600-teu containership, Kaimana Hila, MAN said in a statement on Thursday.

The contract includes converting an MAN B&W S90ME-C10.5 unit to a dual-fuel ME-GI unit capable of running on LNG.

MAN did not provide the price tag of the contract.

Matson says conversion will cost about $35 million

Matson expects to invest about $35 million in the conversion of Kaimana Hila, the same as for Daniel K. Inouye.

Besides these two vessels, Matson plans to replace the main engine on its containership Manukai with a dual-fuel engine and this will cost about $60 million.

In total, the firm will spend up to $130 million to enable these three ships to use LNG fuel.

Matson’s finance chief Joel Wine said during the company’s 2022 earnings call on February 21 that the containership Daniel K. Inouye “is currently in drydock for its LNG installation, and is expected to be back in service in the middle of this year.”

Its AIS data provided by VesselsValue showed on Friday that it was located in Nantong, China.

“Following Daniel K. Inouye, Manukai will enter the drydock for a one-year project to re-engine to operate on both LNG and conventional fuels,” Wine said.

“And Kaimana Hila will enter the drydock in the second quarter of 2024 for a roughly five-month period for its LNG installation,” he added.

Besides these vessels, Matson ordered last year three new 3,600-teu LNG-powered Aloha Class containerships at compatriot Philly Shipyard for about $1 billion.

Matson will take delivery of these Jones Act compliant vessels in the fourth quarter of 2026 with subsequent deliveries in 2027.

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