Two of the cleanest-running containerships in the Hawaii trade lane will soon enter service for Pasha Hawaii.
The company, based in Honolulu and San Raphael, Calif., developed its dual-fuel ‘Ohana class to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) from day one. M/V George III, the lead vessel, is scheduled for delivery later this year, followed by M/V Janet Marie in spring 2022. The two ships are named for the late parents of George Pasha IV, the president and CEO of Pasha Hawaii.
Keppel AmFELS shipyard in South Texas is building both ships. The 774-by-115-foot vessels were built using a proprietary design from Keppel Marine Technology Development. It emphasizes efficiency and speed with substantially lower emissions through LNG propulsion.
“Sustainability was the No. 1 factor in the decision (for adopting LNG as the primary fuel),” said Ed Washburn, senior vice president of fleet operations for Pasha Hawaii. “We’ve seen the effects of climate change and felt it was important to design these ships to have minimal impact on our environment.”
The ‘Ohana-class ships are Pasha’s first newbuilds since 2015, when the 692-foot container/roll-on, roll-off (con-ro) Marjorie C joined the fleet. Their arrival will expand the company’s oceangoing fleet from six to eight ships. Separately, Pasha Hawaii is working to install a dual-fuel engine on the steamship Horizon Reliance.
Planning for the ‘Ohana-class vessels began almost five years ago. Company officials from Keppel AmFELS and Pasha Hawaii consulted with many sources, from stevedores and operational employees to sales representatives. Keppel AmFELS took the lead on developing the specifications with input from Pasha Hawaii executives. In addition to the dual-fuel LNG propulsion, the vessels had to carry 400 refrigerated containers, 500 45-foot containers and 400 40-footers.
Four shipyards bid on the vessel construction project before Keppel AmFELS, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, was awarded the contracts. The yard, located in Brownsville, Texas, offered to custom-design a ship based on Pasha Hawaii’s requirements rather than modify an existing design. The yard also had vast experience working with LNG, which was another plus.
Keppel’s design arm, Keppel Marine Technology Development, used advanced modeling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to customize the hull form. Maritime Research Institute Netherlands developed a rudder and propeller to optimize the hull’s efficiency in the water.
“Because of the different iterations of the CFD analysis, at the time it was designed, it was the most efficient containership hull in the world,” Washburn said.
“There is hardly a straight plate on it,” he added. “There is so much curvature in the hull. It is beautiful to see.”
The ‘Ohana class can carry 2,525 20-foot equivalent units (TEU), roughly a 25 percent increase compared to the Pasha Hawaii ships currently working in the Hawaii trade. There are five holds in the hull, with two bays in each. Two holds are sized to hold 45-foot containers, while two others are designed for 40-foot refrigerated containers, according to Pasha Hawaii.
The propulsion system aboard both ships consists of a single MAN B&W engine delivering up to 30,000 kW (40,230 hp). The engine can run on marine diesel, low-sulfur heavy fuel oil and LNG. Two 1,200-cubic-meter tanks will store the LNG above deck within a steel enclosure, aft of the deckhouse.
The slow-speed, direct-drive MAN B&W main engine turns a 28-foot five-bladed propeller forward of a Becker rudder with a twisted leading edge and bulb. Three MAN B&W auxiliary engines capable of 2,760 kW provide electrical power. The gensets will run on LNG during typical operations.
The ‘Ohana-class ships have no bow thrusters, which are not necessary for the ports they will call upon. “We make one left turn in Hawaii, and we make two right turns in Long Beach,” Washburn said. “We saw no need for a thruster.”
George III and Janet Marie are projected to cruise at 23 knots, a knot or two faster than Horizon Pacific and Horizon Spirit. That additional speed adds up during the 96-hour transit between Long Beach and Honolulu, where container barge services are often waiting to transfer cargo from Oahu to neighboring islands.
George III will run initially with 24 crewmembers, although that number will pare down to a normal contingent of 19 after about six months.
Above deck, the ‘Ohana class has accommodations for 28, plus a six-person riding crew, in cabins with multiple configurations. They also have an owner’s stateroom and a pilot cabin. There are meeting rooms, conference rooms, and internet and TV available throughout the deckhouse.
The Kongsberg bridge control and navigation system is the beating heart of the wheelhouse. The integrated system has two X-band radars, an S-band radar, electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) and AIS. The chart table is equipped with a course recorder, weatherfax and Navtex receivers, two differential GPS systems and other equipment.
With its two new ships, Pasha Hawaii joins several other Jones Act shippers running on the cleaner-burning fuel. LNG is derived from traditional natural gas that has been cooled to minus 162 degrees Celsius. Compared to heavy fuel oils, it generates 90 percent less nitrogen oxide and 20 percent less carbon dioxide while producing zero sulfur emissions. Both ‘Ohana-class ships also will surpass IMO 2030 requirements for oceangoing vessels.
West Coast Clean Fuels LLC, a joint venture among Clean Marine Energy, World Fuel Services and Pasha Hawaii Holdings LLC, recently announced a partnership to create a fuel delivery system that will supply LNG to the new ships at the Port of Long Beach. The fueling will occur dockside from LNG-powered trucks hauling cryogenic ISO containers that will be hooked up to West Coast Clean Fuels’ LNG bunker delivery system. The trucks will deliver roughly 300 gallons a minute to the ‘Ohana-class vessels. At that pace, fueling should take about four hours.
“I am confident developing this self-contained and reliable infrastructure to get fuel to the ship, which we’ve done, is 100 percent the right way to go,” Washburn said.
Pasha Hawaii is looking forward to the ‘Ohana-class vessels joining its fleet. “The state-of-the-art design, engineering and construction of both M/V George III and M/V Janet Marie represents the remarkable talents of Keppel AmFELS LLC’s highly skilled shipbuilders,” George Pasha IV said in a statement.
“Thanks to the dedicated men and women at Keppel,” he continued, “together we will soon fulfill our vision and commitment to finding new ways to minimize our environmental footprint without compromising our service to our customers.” •