Thursday, August 6, 2015

Matson Investing $30 Million in Alaska Operations

By Mark Edward Nero

Honolulu-based Pacific shipping company Matson Inc. said this week that it is moving to fund improvements in the Alaska operations that it took over following its May 29 acquisition of Horizon Lines’ Alaska services.

Matson expects to invest more than $30 million in new equipment, with planned upgrades over the next three months, including 2,000 new standard 40-foot dry containers for general cargo; a new 65-ton gantry crane for its Kodiak Terminal; 430 new insulated containers for winter operations; and two new Kenworth tractors for Anchorage Terminal container positioning.

In addition, Matson says, it has scheduled work to install new exhaust scrubber systems on the three former Horizon D7-class vessels it now operates in Alaska, with each vessel going into dry dock for three months beginning in September.

The new equipment is expected to help the vessels comply with the latest federal emissions regulations and virtually eliminate all sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions. Matson says it will deploy a reserve container ship during the installation period to prevent any disruption to its twice-weekly service from Tacoma to Anchorage and Kodiak and weekly service to Dutch Harbor.

The modifications to all three ships are expected to be complete by December 2016.

The new gantry crane is due to arrive in Kodiak in early August and the new insulated containers are expected to be delivered in Anchorage in late October.

“These infrastructure investments will bring Alaska assets in line with our standards,” Matson President and CEO Matt Cox said.

Matson acquired Horizon Lines, including Horizon’s Alaska operations and the assumption of all non-Hawaii business, for about $469 million on May 29. Around the same time, Horizon sold its Hawaii trade lane assets and liabilities to The Pasha Group for $141.5 million.