Crowley charters LNG-fueled boxship quartet from Eastern Pacific Shipping

EPS Crowley ink charter deal for four LNG-powered containerships
EPS Crowley ink charter deal for four LNG-powered containerships; Image by EPS

U.S. shipping and logistics company Crowley has inked a charter contract with Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) for four newbuild containerships powered by LNG.

The 1,400 TEU vessels will be built by Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and are slated for delivery in 2025.

Each vessel will feature 300 refrigerated unit plugs intended for the transport of perishable cargo.

The containerships will be fitted with high-pressure ME-GI engines from MAN Energy Solutions, reducing methane slippage to negligible levels, EPS said.

Operating under a long-term time charter to Crowley, the ships will be connecting U.S. markets to Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

“We are excited to develop our U.S. market footprint through these long-term time charters with such a reputable partner,” said EPS CEO Cyril Ducau.

“Like EPS, Crowley enjoys a rich history and diverse business portfolio, but more importantly, their organization is driven by a vision to lead the industry’s decarbonization efforts. Once delivered, these vessels will be IMO 2030 compliant five years ahead of schedule and will play an important role as the world and industry transition to cleaner energy sources,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO.

“These four ships will play a significant part in driving Crowley’s strategic growth in our supply chain services for the U.S., Central America and Caribbean.”

Crowley has set a target of generating zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To reach its target the shipping major needs to reduce overall emissions by over 3.7 million metric tons per year, based on the company-wide inventory of carbon emission equivalents developed in 2020.

The Florida-based shipping and logistics company is currently working on the nation’s first all-electric powered harbor tugboat, called eWolf. The tug is being built at Master Boat Builders’ (MBB) shipyard in Coden, Alabama. The 82-foot vessel is expected to be completed and ready for service in mid-2023 at the Port of San Diego, in partnership with federal and California agencies.

Compared to a conventional tug, eWolf is designed to emit 178 tons less nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons less of diesel particulate matter, and 3,100 tons less of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the first 10 years of its operation.

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Furthermore, Crowley has entered into a charter deal with Shell North America LNG to build an LNG bunker barge. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is currently constructing the vessel which will operate under a long-term charter with Shell. The 5,400 cbm bunker barge will feature four Type C tanks and a cargo handling system by Wartsila. The parties expect to deploy it in 2024.

Crowley has 23 company-owned and/or operated U.S.-flag product tankers, including four LNG-ready 50,000dwt fuel-efficient tankers built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The company also has two LNG-powered container/roll on-roll off ships El Coquí and Taíno. Both ships were constructed at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, with Crowley Solutions providing the construction management services.