Crowley Christens LNG-Fueled Con/Ro for Puerto Rico Route

Image courtesy Crowley Maritime

By The Maritime Executive 02-22-2019 08:37:15

On Friday, Crowley Maritime christened its second LNG-fueled con/ro, Taíno, in a ceremony at its terminal in Puerto Rico. The first, El Coquí, entered service last year. 

“We are thrilled to christen this magnificent new ship here with our employees, customers and people of Puerto Rico, whom she will serve for many years to come,” said CEO Tom Crowley. 

Both of the new Jones Act ships were constructed at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi, with Crowley Solutions providing the construction management services. To complement the two new ships, Crowley invested in a new 900-foot pier and three ship-to-shore gantry cranes at its Isla Grande terminal – the first newly constructed cranes for San Juan Harbor in more than 50 years. The company also rolled out a new terminal operating system and added container staging areas and handling equipment, which will contribute to reduced turn times.

Mr. Crowley took time to address recent criticism of the Jones Act, the law that requires that American domestic routes be served by American built, flagged, owned and crewed ships. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló recently requested a Jones Act exemption for foreign-flagged LNG carriers, which his administration would like to see used for carriage of natural gas between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico. 

“While the act ensures that we have a robust shipbuilding capability and skilled merchant mariners in the U.S. essential to our national defense, it has also created a commercial shipping market between the mainland and Puerto Rico that is highly competitive, customized and dedicated,” said Crowley. “We should be strengthening this critically important maritime law, not tearing it down as some special interest groups espousing highly inaccurate and misleading information would like to do.”