Crowley Maritime has launched its new LNG-powered combination container / Roll on-Roll off (ConRo) vessel at VT Halter Marine's shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, US.

The new vessel is named El Coquí, and was developed as part of Crowley’s $550m project to expand and modernise its shipping activities.

It is the world’s first ConRo ship to be powered by LNG.

The vessel will now undergo a final topside construction and testing phase, and is planned to enter into service in the US Jones Act trade by mid-2017.

The commitment-class ship is also set to help Crowley expand and upgrade its shipping and logistics services between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico in the US.

El Coquí will be able to ship up to 2,400 twenty-foot-equivalent container units (TEUs) of cargo, and a mix of around 400 cars and larger vehicles in the enclosed, ventilated and weather-tight Ro / Ro decks.

The vessel can also house various container sizes and types, ranging from 20ft to 53ft, and up to 300 refrigerated containers.

"We look forward to the successful delivery of El Coquí later this year and her sister ship Taíno in the first half of next year."

Crowley Maritime chairman and CEO Tom Crowley said: “This was a special day for Crowley, VT Halter Marine and all of the men and women who designed, and who are constructing, this world-class ship.

“We are extremely appreciative of all the work that has been accomplished so far, and look forward to the successful delivery of El Coquí later this year and her sister ship Taíno in the first half of next year.”

Additionally, the company is set to take delivery of three new gantry cranes at its new terminal pier in San Juan.

Two one million litre cryogenic tanks are also expected to be added to Crowley’s LNG bunkering facility, which is being built at the Port of Jacksonville.