Crowley Partners with EPS to Build LNG Ships for Latin America Service

Crowley and EPS order LNG containerships
Courtesy Crowley Maritime

Published Sep 19, 2022 1:15 PM by The Maritime Executive

In an effort to expand its Latin American and Caribbean service, Crowley announced plans for four new state-of-the-art LNG-powered container feeder ships. The ships, which will be built under a partnership with Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping and operate under a long-term charter, will expand Crowley’s LNG operations after launching their first LNG-fueled containerships four years ago.

The vessels will be built by Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and are slated for delivery in 2025. Each of the vessels will have a capacity for 1,400 TEUs including featuring 300 refrigerated unit plugs to transport perishable cargo. The ships will expand Crowley's fleet and supply chain capabilities connecting U.S. markets to Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

"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," said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. "As more companies diversify their supply chains using nearshoring and the resources of Central America, Crowley will enhance our end-to-end logistics services to be partners in their growth."

In addition to reduced emissions from LNG-fueled operations, Crowley notes that they will be using the latest technologies. These vessels will be fitted with high-pressure ME-GI engines from MAN Energy Solutions, which Crowley said will reduce methane slippage to negligible levels and make these vessels the most environmentally efficient in their category.

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

The new vessels are also the next step for Crowley, which currently operates over 170 vessels, mostly in the Jones Act fleet. The company launched its first LNG-fueled vessels in 2018 with the El Coquí, a 720-foot combination container/roll on-roll off ship followed by her sister ship Taíno for Crowley’s service to Puerto Rico. Built by VT Halter Marine’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the ships are 26,500 dwt with a capacity to transport up to 2,400 TEUs.  

Tom Crowley highlighted that the new vessels' use of LNG and emissions technology will advance the company's commitment to innovation and decarbonization in the shipping industry as part of its sustainability strategy.