Matson’s New Conro Ship Matsonia Christened



Matsonia, the second of two Kanaloa Class combination container/roll-on, roll-off (con-ro) vessels being built for U.S.-based carrier Matson, was christened at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, on Thursday.

Peggy Forest, wife of Matson’s President Ron Forest, officially christened the vessel by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne against its hull. Immediately after the bottle was broken, the vessel was released from its build ways and slid backward into San Diego Bay. Matsonia was then docked at NASSCO’s nearby testing and trials berth, where the final stages of construction will be completed prior to delivery scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020.

At 870 feet long, 114 feet wide, with a draft of 38 feet and weighing in at over 50,000 metric tons, the 3,500 TEU newbuild Matsonia, and sister ship Lurline delivered in December 2019, are the largest vessels in Matson’s fleet and the largest con-ros ever built in the United States.

The two new ships are being built at a total cost of approximately $500 million for the pair, and are among four new vessels that Matson will put into service during 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Both new Kanaloa Class vessels will have an enclosed garage with room for approximately 500 vehicles, plus ample space for rolling stock and breakbulk cargo. They will also feature state-of-the-art green technology, including a fuel-efficient hull design, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks, fresh water ballast systems and the first Tier 3 dual fuel engines to be deployed in containerships regularly serving West Coast ports.  

Under the latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements for engine manufacturers, Tier 3 engines reduce the levels of particulate emissions by 40% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 20% , as compared to Tier 2 standards. Matson’s deployment of Tier 3 engines in both Kanaloa Class vessels is supported by California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

While Matsonia and Lurline are two of the most environmentally friendly vessels in the Matson fleet, they’re also among the fastest, with a top speed of 23 knots, helping ensure on-time deliveries in Hawaii from Matson’s three West Coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland and Long Beach.  

“Matson is already benefitting from the speed, capacity and improved environmental profile of the three new ships we’ve put into service since 2018,” said Matt Cox, Matson’s chairman and chief executive officer, after the shipyard ceremony. “Matsonia will be our fourth new ship, completing a three-year fleet renewal program that positions us well to serve the needs of our communities in Hawaii for many years to come.”

“As a proud U.S. company and Jones Act carrier, our investment in this new ship is about much more than maintaining a high level of service to Hawaii. It also helps drive substantial economic benefits in and opportunities in communities around the Pacific, where this vessel will operate,” Cox said.

Dave Carver, President of General Dynamics NASSCO, said, “The Matsonia is a reflection of the highest standards of shipbuilding and we are proud to celebrate her launching. This extraordinary vessel is a testament to the hard work, unity and strength of our thousands of dedicated shipbuilders who made this possible.”



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