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Matson to spend $30M to upgrade Alaska gear

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    One of the Horizon Lines ships in Alaska acquired by Matson in May.

Honolulu-based ocean cargo transportation firm Matson Inc. plans to deploy a hefty sum of money upgrading equipment in its Alaska service recently acquired from former competitor Horizon Lines Inc.

Matson announced Tuesday that it expects to spend more than $30 million to improve ship emissions, acquire new containers and install what would be the biggest gantry crane in Alaska.

Most of the anticipated spending will be to install pollution-reducing equipment called scrubbers on three former Horizon ships operating between Tacoma, Wash., and the Alaska ports of Anchorage, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor.

Matson has said it will cost about $8 million per vessel, or $24 million total, to install the scrubbers, which will help the ships comply with new federal emissions regulations. This work is expected to start in September and be done by the end of next year, with the engine modifications taking about three months per ship. A reserve ship will be deployed to maintain scheduled service.

Other planned investments are slated to be made over the next three months, and include a 65-ton gantry crane in Kodiak, 430 insulated cargo containers for winter operations and 2,000 standard containers.

Matson bought the Alaska operations of Horizon in May in a $469 million deal that was announced in November. The new equipment being added by Matson had been planned by Horizon prior to Matson’s acquisition.

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