January 22 - The keel for the first two LNG-powered con-ro ships for Crowley Maritime Corporation's liner services group has been laid during a ceremony at VT Halter Marine's facility in Mississippi.

VT Systems subsidiary VT Halter Marine and Crowley entered into a contract for the pair of ships that will serve the US-Puerto Rico trade lane in November 2013; and HLPFI reported that construction had begun on October 23, 2014.

The Commitment Class ships will be 219.5 m long, 32.3 m wide, have a deep draft of 10 m, and an approximate deadweight capacity of 26,500 tonnes. Cargo capacity will be approximately 2,400 teus, with additional space for nearly 400 vehicles in an enclosed ro-ro garage.

The two vessels, which will be named El Coquí and Taíno, are scheduled for delivery during the second and fourth quarter of 2017 respectively.