MV Manukai Christened at Philly Shipyard

Matson Navigation's new containership MV Manukai was christened on July 12, 2003 by Margaret Inouye, wife of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, (D-Hawaii), at a ceremony held at Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc. (KPSI). Not only is the vessel the first of a two-ship, $220 million contract with KPSI, it also holds the distinction as the first new Matson vessel built since MV R.J. Pfeiffer in 1992. The ship is also the first to be constructed by KPSI and the first new ship built in Philadelphia in 34 years.

Mrs. Inouye's participation in the ceremony had a special significance in that she christened Matson's S.S. Hawaiian Enterprise in 1969, which was later renamed Manukai. At the time, the ship was the largest and most powerful containership under the U.S. flag. While in service, it completed more than 700 voyages and carried more than one million containers of cargo - a record for the Hawaii trade.

The new Manukai is diesel powered, making it more fuel efficient, and is designed to carry a greater number of large container sizes.

For KPSI, the christening of the Manukai is a milestone for the newly revitalized shipyard, which had formerly been a naval shipyard. The vessel will have commenced its sea trials in late July and is expected to enter Matson's Hawaii service in the fall. As a replacement vessel, the ship will be one of eight containerships deployed in the company's service between the West Coast and Hawaii.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 30,  Aug 2003

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