Matson Completes Upgrade of Alaska Fleet
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Matson Inc. has welcomed Matson Anchorage back to Alaska following three months of work to upgrade the vessel, including the installation of new equipment that virtually eliminates particulate matter and sulfur from engine exhaust, making it one of the cleanest ships operating in Alaska, the company said in a May 16 release.
Matson Anchorage was the last of Matson’s three D7-class containerships serving Alaska to receive the new equipment. Sister ships Matson Kodiak and Matson Tacoma underwent the same upgrade work and were returned to service last year.
The state-of-the-art hybrid “wet scrubber” exhaust gas cleaning technology now operating in Matson’s Alaska fleet is unlike any other on a U.S.-flag vessel. When operating within 12 miles of the coastline, it uses a closed-loop system that sprays fresh water treated with sodium hydroxide into the vessel’s exhaust system and then collects and treats the wash water to neutralize harmful compounds. Consistent with Matson’s industry-leading zero-solid-waste policy, the wash water is then off-loaded in port for disposal in accordance with strict environmental standards.
The system reduces sulfur dioxide and particulate matter in emissions to levels well below limits set by stringent federal and state environmental regulations. Testing of the equipment in recent months has shown fleet sulfur emissions below those of vessels using low-sulfur fuel.
Matson worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in certifying the effectiveness of the new system.
“Our hybrid system is new, so it has required extensive testing and independent analysis to earn federal certification,” said Matson President Ron Forest. “The Coast Guard and EPA have been enthusiastic about the environmental benefits and worked closely with our engineers to develop and certify our new system. It has become a good example of public/private sector partnership in bringing environmental innovation to the marketplace.”
Matson’s Alaska fleet upgrades were part of more than $50 million the company has invested in new equipment and upgrades to its Alaska operations in its first 18 months in the market, including two additional ships it keeps ready as reserve vessels principally for Alaska service to provide increased or replacement capacity should needs arise.
Matson Inc. acquired the Alaska operations of Horizon Lines Inc. in 2015 for $469 million with a commitment to continuing the company’s 50-year operating history in Alaska. Matson retained Horizon personnel, maintained its operations at port terminals in Anchorage, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, and continues to provide two weekly sailings from Tacoma to Anchorage and Kodiak, and a weekly sailing to Dutch Harbor.