Philly Shipyard Wins Contract to Build Three Aloha Class LNG-Fueled Containerships for Matson
Earlier this week, Matson announced that they signed a contract with Philly Shipyard for the construction of three additional 3,600 TEU Aloha class ships for an aggregate price of $1 billion. The first vessel is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2026 with subsequent deliveries in 2027. The new vessels will join Matson’s two Aloha class ships previously delivered by Philly Shipyard in 2018 and 2019. The 854-foot vessels are the largest containerships ever built in the U.S. and were ordered in 2013 at a cost of $418 million for the pair. The vessels are the fastest in Matson’s fleet, designed to operate at speeds in excess of 23 knots.
Similar to those sisterships, the new vessels will be equipped with dual fuel engines that are designed to operate on either conventional marine fuels or liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as other “green ship technology” features, such as a fuel-efficient hull design, double hull fuel tanks and freshwater ballast systems. While the earlier ships require some modification to operate with LNG, the new ships will be delivered LNG-ready.
The Diesel Market is in a Perfect Storm as Prices Surge, Supply Dwindles Ahead of Winter
A perfect storm is taking place in the diesel market, with dwindling diesel reserves, a drought on the Mississippi River pushing more product to rail and truck, and a possible rail strike leading to a surge in prices that is expected to continue. Diesel prices have increased by 33% for November deliveries.
“The national average price for diesel today is $5.30 per gallon and is expected to go up 15 to 20 cents in the next few weeks,” said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, LLC. Reserves for diesel this time of year have not been this low in decades, with the greatest shortfall in the Northeast region including New York and New England.
Diesel inventories in the New York/ New England markets are facing an acute crisis, down over 50% since last year and at the lowest level since 1990, according to Lipow. Lipow said East Coast refineries are making as much diesel as they can and dependent on tankers and barges for supply, any weather delay causes a terminal to run out of product. According to the EIA, East Coast refineries operated at 100% capacity in June and July. “Last week, they operated at 102% of capacity,” Lipow said. “No more supply is forthcoming from the four East Coast refineries.”
Keel-Laying Ceremony Held for NOAA Oceanographic Research Vessel
Late last week, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Navy, and Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors held a keel laying ceremony for Discoverer, a new oceanographic research vessel being built for NOAA. The 244' Discoverer will support a wide variety of NOAA missions, ranging from oceanographic research and exploration to studying marine life, climate, and ocean ecosystems. Discoverer and its sister ship, Oceanographer, will incorporate the latest clean energy technologies, including vessel emission controls and high-efficiency diesel engines. NOAA’s fleet of research and survey ships is operated, managed, and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. NOAA ships are crewed by NOAA Corps officers and civilian professional mariners.