Crowley has been awarded the Military Sealift Command charter contract to operate the Stena Polaris, an Ice Class tanker serving bulk fuel needs of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Crowley’s government ship management group has completed the conversion of the ship to meet government and military service standards, including registration as a U.S.-flag vessel. The tanker will transport necessary fuel for defense operations in the Arctic and Antarctica regions. When not operating in those regions, the vessel will transport fuel for defense services in the Mediterranean Sea.
Crowley has partnered with the DNV classification society and the U.S. Coast Guard to verify that the vessel meets the applicable standards to support its missions safely and effectively. Enhancements include adding at-sea refueling capabilities for the military. The tanker, now U.S.-flagged with U.S. mariners, is set to enter service March 2022.
The conversion was completed at Fincantieri Marine Repair near Jacksonville, Florida, supporting investment, jobs and the economy of the home city of Crowley’s global headquarters.
“The Stena Polaris plays a critical mission for our warfighters serving our nation in austere environments, and fundamental work to help our military succeed will be done by the strong workforce and maritime industry in Jacksonville,” said Mike Golonka, vice president, government maritime services, for the Crowley Solutions business unit. “Crowley’s team is fortunate to partner with the U.S. Coast Guard, DNV and Fincantieri Marine Repair to complete the conversion, and we are honored that the U.S. government continues to trust Crowley’s ship management team to meet the Defense Department standards for success and efficient service.”
“We are excited to partner with Crowley here in Jacksonville to successfully complete this tanker reflagging project,” said Ryan Smith, Fincantieri Marine Repair’s president. “We are now operating in Northeast Florida providing high-quality services to meet the operational needs of military, government, and commercial clients.”
The contract, which carries a one-year term with multiple option years, has a potential cumulative value of more than $98 million.