George Pasha, IV, President and CEO, Pasha Hawaii welcomed the arrival of Pasha’s second LNG-powered container ship, the Janet Marie, at a christening ceremony that took place at the Port of Oakland on August 9th citing the ‘teamwork” of Pasha employees and partners in building and delivering the newest vessel to the U.S. Jones Act fleet.
In his remarks, Pasha said: “Fortunately for me, I have a very strong and dedicated team that gives me that confidence to make difficult … and aggressive decisions … Fortunately, I also have not only my team but others that back our play … and help us bring a vessel and a project of this magnitude to fruition. It also takes a lot of hard work and commitment from … our SSA team (Stevedoring Services of America) …our SIU (Seafarers International Union) partners and other union members that are on this ship.”
Janet Marie is the second of two new ‘Ohana Class, 774-foot LNG-powered container ships built at the AmFELS shipyard at Brownsville, Texas. The company’s first ‘Ohana Class vessel, MV George III, began service on August 17, 2022, becoming the first LNG-powered container ship to call the San Francisco Bay Area.
Pasha also recognized the work of Ed Washburn, Senior Vice-President, Fleet Operations Pasha Hawaii who oversaw the construction of the Janet Marie and its sister ship George III at the AmFELS Shipyard. “I want to give a shout-out to Ed and his team that were really the visionaries in terms of getting us and challenging us to embrace this technology LNG. “
Chris Connor, President and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) and Board Member of The Pasha Group, served as Master of Ceremonies at the christening and noted: “it is an honor to be here today to celebrate the legacy of the Pasha family, to pay tribute to George's Mom and Dad, and to call George IV, not only a colleague but also a friend.”
Danny Wan, Executive Director, Port of Oakland, congratulated Pasha and noted that he had returned from a trip to Vietnam where green ship corridors with Vietnam were discussed along with LNG-powered ships: “We just came from Vietnam and with the Mayor (Sheng Thao) and we were talking about green corridors and ships and LNG, of course, came up (as) an important step in terms of reducing the emissions from our ships.”
Wan thanked Pasha for producing a low-emission ship: “We most appreciate your involvement (in) the Bay Area … to help us … not only to make everything more efficient … at the Port of Oakland … but also at the same time … reduce the pollution and the emissions from our ships.”
Seafarers International Union President David Heindel cited the importance of building new vessels for the United States: “The Janet Marie is the latest symbol of Pasha’s incredible commitment to our seafarers, to our flag, and to our national and economic homeland security. I know that our members are doing a great job aboard this fine vessel.”
Heindel said the new Pasha ship also bolsters the U.S. Merchant Marine and the Jones Act fleet with low-emission LNG technology at a time when the number of U.S. flag ships is declining: “The vessel itself stands for so much more than just a green and modern design. When I see the ship, the first thing I see is jobs for SIU members. And of course, all the other unions that are represented aboard her. That matters for many reasons. One of the biggest is that our nation absolutely depends on a viable U.S. Merchant Marine. As many of you know, we are the fourth arm of defense. In times of conflict, we deliver for our troops wherever and whenever needed. Ships like the Janet Marie help our country to maintain a pool of well-trained, reliable US citizens (mariners) … who are available … aboard military support ships as needed.”
The ship also enhances the Jones Act fleet: “When I see the ship, I also see Pasha’s investment in the Jones Act … a ... time-tested law that has protected our country for more than a century. The Janet Marie is sailing, of course, in the Jones Act trades. And again, that's good news for the United States … President Biden just last month, stated that the Jones Act is crucial for the U.S.' well-being. Without it, I can't imagine that the Janet Marie would have been built.”
Heindel said the arrival of the Pasha vessel comes at a time when the U.S. maritime industry is recovering from the effects of the Covid pandemic and faces a shortage of mariners. Heindel also praised the steadfastness of U.S. mariners and mariners from around the world who stayed at their jobs and kept maritime supply chains operating: “Like so many other industries we took a hit during the pandemic. When it comes to retaining our workforce the SIU and other maritime unions are working with industry to resolve this shortage and we will resolve this shortage. And by the way, I want to take just a moment to thank our mariners, and all of the other mariners, … who … stayed on the job and kept delivering cargo for all of our benefit in the United States.”
Pastor Michael Ryan and Sister Judy Ryan of St. James Cathedral in Seattle, and siblings to the late Janet Marie Ryan Pasha, conducted a Catholic blessing,
They were followed by a traditional Hawaiian blessing performed by Kahu (Pastor) Kordell Kekoa of Honolulu.
George Pasha, IV’s sister, Mary Jane Pasha, served as the ship’s sponsor, overseeing the breaking of the champagne bottle.
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