Hawaii’s largest inter-island cargo service provider, Young Brothers Ltd., has signed a nearly $80 million contract with a Louisiana shipyard for the construction of four new tugs.
The first tug is expected to be delivered by Conrad Shipyard in the first quarter of 2018, and the fourth by the first quarter of 2019.
The 6,000-horsepower, 123-foot by 36.5-foot vessels are designed to match Young Brothers’ current fleet of high capacity barges, which were delivered from 2007 to 2010.
The four new tugs are expected to constitute the core of the company’s towing capacity for their 35-year life expectancy, according to Young Bros, which is a Saltchuk company operated by Foss Maritime.
Young Brothers also says the new tugs are expected to improve the company’s ability to provide regular cargo service to island communities and enhance service through lower maintenance, less down time, better tow speeds, greater operating efficiencies, and lower environmental impacts.
The company provides 12 weekly port calls from Honolulu to the state’s neighbor island ports, including Hilo, Kawaihae, Kahului, Kaumalapau, Kaunakakai and Nāwiliwili.
“Our investment in these new tugs will directly support and further our commitment to frequent, reliable, affordable and universal service for decades into the future,” Young Brothers President Glenn Hong said.
The tugs, which are to be known as the Kāpena Class, or captain class, will be built to Damen Stan 3711 design and powered by General Electric, 8L250MDC, EPA Tier 4 emissions compliant engines using exhaust gas recirculation engines.
The tugs will be homeported on the neighbor island ports, according to Young Brothers.