The <i>Lurline</i>, the first of Matson’s Kanaloa-class con-ros, at her June launch in San Diego. (Credit: Matson Navigation). The Lurline, the first of Matson’s Kanaloa-class con-ros, at her June launch in San Diego. (Credit: Matson Navigation).

A further phase in Matson Navigation’s modernisation programme for its Hawaiian services is set to be realised with the impending completion of the 52,000dwt con-ro vessel Lurline, writes David Tinsley.

The design developed by Daewoo Ship Engineering Company (DSEC) of South Korea provides slots for approximately 3,500 TEU containers, and garaging aft for vehicles, trailers, wheeled equipment and also breakbulk freight, up to a maximum of 800 cars. Ro-ro access and egress is via a stern quarter ramp, and the lo-lo box payload can include up to 432 refrigerated units.

Lurline is to be phased on to the route linking Matson’s three US west coast terminals in Seattle, Oakland, and Long Beach with the Hawaiian archipelago during the final quarter of 2019, and is expected to be joined by the second newbuild, Matsonia, by mid-2020. The Kanaloa generation will introduce both increased capacity and greater cargo carrying flexibility to the Hawaiian trade, as well as achieving a substantial advance in vessel and transportation efficiency and environmental standard relative to the tonnage to be replaced.

The selection of LNG-capable, dual-fuel two-stroke main machinery, in the shape of a six-cylinder G90ME-C10.5-GI type from the MAN stable, will enable the ships to ensure compliance with emission controls in both US and international waters. IMO Tier III NOx compatibility will be ensured when running in gas mode. Dual-fuel models of four-stroke engines have also been specified for the four gensets.

The propulsion plant in conjunction with hydrodynamically-efficient hull lines provides for a top speed of 23 knots, to better ensure schedule keeping and on-time deliveries throughout the multi-port service network in the Hawaiian islands. The installation in Lurline has been specified at 31,870kW, although the nominal maximum continuous power rating for the model of 900mm-bore engine selected is 37,440kW.

The two Kanaloa-class ships will supersede three diesel-powered, time-served vessels currently in operation, which will be moved to reserve status.

With the upcoming deliveries of Lurline and Matsonia, and following the completion in 2018 and early 2019 of its two Philadelphia-built 3,600TEU all-cellular, Aloha-class ships, Matson will have completed the renewal of its Hawaii fleet. Also powered by MAN ME-GI series main engines for a speed of nearly 24 knots, the Aloha duo Daniel K.Inouye and Kaimana Hila commanded an overall price of US$418 million.

In contributing to the re-shaping of the nation’s home trade fleet, Matson’s newbuild projects gave a fillip to US commercial shipbuilding along with projects by other leading US operators before the current hiatus in orders for Jones Act tonnage.

In addition to expenditure of some US$929 million on four new ships, the company’s investment for the Hawaiian traffic embraces around US$60 million in the modernisation and enlargement of the Sand Island Terminal in Honolulu. The programme includes three new, 65t-capacity cranes, supplied by Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, to fully cope with the Aloha- and Kanaloa-class vessels.

Matson offers seven arrivals from the mainland west coast to Hawaii every 14 days, more than any other carrier, and the service network encompasses Kahului, Kawaihae, Hilo and Nawiliwili as well as the main hub and capital port Honolulu.










Container capacity



Four decks for cars, two decks for trailers (max 800 cars)

Main engine

MAN 6G90ME-C10.5-GI


23 kts


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