Thordon's COMPAC bearings ordered for largest Jones Act containerships

(BURLINGTON, Ontario) — Thordon Bearings has signed a landmark contract to supply COMPAC seawater-lubricated propeller shaft bearing solutions to two Jones Act containerships under construction at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard Inc. (APSI) for Matson Navigation Co. Inc.

The order is significant in that it represents the first large containership reference for the manufacturer and the largest commercial ship propeller shafts to be fitted with COMPAC bearings.

The 3,600-TEU Aloha-class vessels, the largest Jones Act containerships ever built, will each feature a COMPAC bearing system for a 930-millimeter-diameter shaft driving an 8.1-meter-diameter fixed-pitch propeller.

Matt Cox, president and CEO of Matson, said, "These new ships are the future for Hawaii shipping and will bring a new level of efficiency and effectiveness to our service. The substantial investment in new technology underscores Matson's long-term commitment to Hawaii and our desire to serve the islands in the best, most environmentally friendly way into the future.”

Craig Carter, Thordon Bearings’ head of marketing and customer services, said, “The COMPAC solution is very much in keeping with Matson’s environmental and sustainability objectives. As with all its vessels, the Aloha class will feature a number of environmentally safe technologies, but the addition of seawater-lubricated shaft bearings will reduce even further the impact its operations have on the marine environment. Our COMPAC system obviates completely the risk of non-compliance with U.S. Vessel General Permit stern tube oil-to-sea interface rules and ensures that the vessels can operate safely, responsibly and legally in U.S. waters.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled in December 2013 that vessels over 24 meters (79 feet) must adopt environmentally acceptable lubricants in all oil-to-sea interfaces before their next dry docking.

David Marshall, Thordon Bearings senior regional manager, said, “This order is one of the most important commercial ship contracts we have ever received for the COMPAC solution. Not only does it provide us with a number of significant ‘firsts’, it shows that liner companies trading in U.S. waters are taking the new VGP rules very seriously. That Matson has become the first liner company to make the switch delivers confidence to the market that seawater-lubrication is the only environmentally and commercially acceptable solution to operational oil pollution.”

Each 259-meter-long, DNV GL-classed vessel features double-hull fuel tanks, a freshwater ballast system, an energy-efficient hull form and a dual-fuel propulsion system future-proofed for conversion to LNG. Main engine output is rated at 38,000 kW at 84 rpm to deliver a service speed of 23 knots.

Thordon’s scope of supply includes COMPAC elastomeric bearings with a tapered keyset, a Thordon Water Quality package, bronze liners and Thor-Coat shaft coating, meeting classification requirements for extended shaft withdrawal periods.

When delivered from the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard in the third and fourth quarters 2018, the Aloha newbuilds will enter service on Matson’s West Coast-Hawaii route in anticipation of an increased demand for higher cargo capacity and diversity.

By Professional Mariner Staff