The Kanaloa Class vessels are being built on a 3,500 TEU vessel platform, which is 870 feet long, 114 feet wide (beam), with a deep draft of 38 feet and enclosed garage space for up to 800 vehicles or breakbulk cargo.
In addition, the new vessels will have state-of-the-art green technology features, including a fuel efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and dual-fuel engines. They will be able to operate at speeds up to 23 knots on either conventional fuel oils or liquefied natural gas, after some adaptation for LNG. The design includes provision for future installation of an LNG fuel gas system.
"We're honored to advance the Matson fleet with two large, modern vessels reflecting the highest standards of design and energy efficiency," said Kevin Graney, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "The construction we began today, and the contracted work for several additional U.S. Navy ships, require additional manpower at our San Diego shipyard. NASSCO will soon begin hiring to continue our reputation of delivering high quality ships on schedule."
"These Jones Act-qualified, Kanaloa Class vessels are designed specifically for our Hawaii service, and we're thrilled to partner with NASSCO on their development," said Ron Forest, president of Matson. "The start of construction today has only heightened our excitement to watch these vessels come to life, and we look forward to seeing them serving our customers in the Hawaii trade."
Representatives from NASSCO and Matson gathered in San Diego for a brief ceremony to cut the first pieces of steel, signifying the start of construction for the first vessel. Constructionis scheduled to be complete in 2019. The second Kanaloa-class vessel will begin construction in 2018 with delivery in 2020.
NASSCO partnered with South Korea's Daewoo Ship Engineering Company to provide Matson with state-of-the-art ship design and shipbuilding technologies.
Matson is calling these vessels the "Kanaloa Class" in honor of the ocean deity revered in the native Hawaiian culture and will name each of the new vessels after predecessor ships from its 135-year history. The first vessel will be named Lurline, the sixth Matson vessel to carry that name, while the second vessel will be its fifth named Matsonia.