Matson awards LNG retrofit job to Chinese yard

US firm Matson Navigation has awarded a retrofit contract to Cosco Shipping Shipyard (Nantong) for the 2019-built 3,600-teu containership, Kaimana Hila, to enable the vessel to use LNG as fuel.

The shipbuilder said in a statement thar the two firms signed the contract for the LNG retrofit project on February 2.

Cosco Shipping Shipyard (Nantong) said the project includes the installation of the LNG fuel gas supply system for the main engine and four auxiliary engines, the installation of three 1,350-cbm LNG fuel tanks, and other equipment.

It did not provide the price tag of the deal.

The Aloha Class containership is a sister vessel to Daniel K. Inouye, built in 2018 by US-based Philly Shipyard.

Daniel K. Inouye is Matson’s first retrofitted containership and it features three 1350-cbm type C LNG fuel tanks supplied by Singapore’s C-LNG Solutions and MAN’s 7S90ME-GI engine.

Last year, Cosco Shipping Shipyard (Nantong) completed the retrofit job on Daniel K. Inouye and this vessel recently completed another LNG bunkering operation in China.

As per Kaimana Hila, MAN said last year that Matson exercised an option from the original contract in June 2022 to convert the main engine aboard its Kaimana Hila.

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

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

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

Matson said in an update in December last year that Manukai’s main engine crankshaft was removed in preparation for the installation of its new dual-fuel engine to allow operation on LNG.

This vessel should be back in service later this year.

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

The company previously said it is also considering LNG retrofitting projects for its Kanaloa Class vessels, Lurline and Matsonia.

In addition to these vessels, Matson ordered in 2022 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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