US-based Philly Shipyard (PSI) has started building up to four new environmentally friendly containerships, with an aim to support the formation of a new entrant into the containership trade between the US mainland and Hawaii.

The Hawaii containership trade route is only currently being served by two carriers.

Delivery of the new 3,600 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) Aloha-class vessels is scheduled to be carried out by 2020 and 2021 respectively.

The vessels are being constructed alongside two similar class containerships, which are planned for delivery by 2018 and 2019 for the Hawaii containership trade.

They will be designed to serve the present market trends for larger sized containers and will enable faster transit times, as well as be capable of running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel.

Philly Shipyard president and CEO Steinar Nerbovik said: “We are excited to get started on building a new fleet of containerships for a new carrier in the Hawaii trade, and are pleased to have received such positive feedback from well-known US marine players and financing sources.

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“Philly Shipyard has a strong track-record of building quality vessels for this trade, and we believe local communities can benefit greatly from the safe and reliable service provided by our modern, efficient and ‘green’ ships.”

"Philly Shipyard has a strong track-record of building quality vessels for this trade, and we believe local communities can benefit greatly from the service provided by our ships."

PSI is currently in advanced discussions with an undisclosed US-based shipping operator to establish a new carrier with a fleet of modern PSI-built vessels.

The planned carrier is intended to help boost commerce between the US West Coast and Hawaii. 

PSI has also received an indicative offer from a major maritime leasing company, which includes preliminary terms for a bareboat charter structure.

Additionally, PSI has already promoted the formation of new vessel owners such as American Shipping Company and Philly Tankers under the Jones Act.