Philadelphia delivers first newbuilding

11 Sep 2003

The MV Manukai made its way down the Delaware River and beneath the Delaware Memorial Bridge on Saturday, July 26th on its way out to the Atlantic Ocean for its sea trials.

After an absence from shipbuilding of more than 30 years, Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard (KPSI), in the USA has delivered its first newbuilding in the shape of a 2,600 teu boxship. Named Manukai, this vessel is the lead ship in a series of two CV 2600 Philadelphia Class containerships being built for the San Francisco-based Matson Navigation Company.

The former Philadelphia Naval yard, which completed its last new ship back in 1969, is building both U.S. Jones Act ships for Matson's service between the West Coast and Hawaii and is also the first new Matson vessel built since 1992. The $220 million contract for both vessels was part of the Title XI financing program signed in May 2002 between the shipbuilder and Matson. The start of hull assembly began in 2001, the vessel was launched in March 2003, and the sea trials took place in July 2003.

Last month the ship left the yard on its positioning voyage down the Atlantic coast and through the Panama Canal to California where it will enter service between Hawaii and the US mainland. The Manukai will carry a broad range of commodities including grocery and retail supplies, refrigerated cargo, building materials, and all items necessary for the economy in Hawaii.

The yard recently moved forward from its start-up phase focusing on the recruiting and training of local workers to its full production phase focusing on the construction of the ships. The ship was built by the yard together with a large number of turnkey and other suppliers to outfit the ship with state-of-the-art equipment. Classed by ABS, the newbuilding flies the American flag.
"This marks a tremendous milestone for Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard," stated Gunnar Skjelbred, President & CEO of KPSI. "We are all proud to see the ship completed and ready to enter service with Matson. We have proved that we can build quality ships."

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