NASSCO signs contract to build huge container ships

Matson ConRoR Rendering

SAN DIEGO — San Diego shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO announced Thursday a deal with Matson Navigation Company Inc. to design and build a pair of 870-foot-long container ships.

Construction is set to begin in two years, with deliveries to Matson, of Long Beach, scheduled for 2019 and 2020, according to NASSCO. The vessels will transport containers, automobiles and trucks between the West Coast and Hawaii.

“We are very pleased to partner with Matson to build their next generation of shipping vessels,” said Fred Harris, NASSCO president.

“NASSCO has long played a leading role in revolutionizing the future of the American shipping industry,” Harris said. “Our partnership with Matson builds upon NASSCO’s successful track record of constructing high-quality, highly-efficient and on-time delivery for the Jones Act trade.”

The Jones Act regulates interstate trade within the U.S.

The ships will have roll-on, roll-off capability and will have engines capable of running on liquefied natural gas, according to NASSCO.