MSC Charter MT Empire State Conducts First Mooring Operation at Hawaii PAR Terminal

Military Sealift Command charter ship MT Empire State conducted mooring operations at the PAR Hawaii single point mooring (SPM) terminal off the coast of Barbers Point, Hawaii, April 10 and 11.  The operation was part of a proof of concept for the expeditionary fueling at sea program.

Utilizing commercial tug boats and exceptional ship handling, Empire State moored to the SPM and received fuel hoses.   A tug connected to the stern of the ship, ensured the tanker ship stayed in line with the 50 foot SPM, for the 24 hours the ship was at moor.  Future operations will include the transfer of fuel.  This was the first time an MSC ship has utilized the Par Hawaii SPM.  According to Par Hawaii, an average of 70 commercial ships us the SMP per year.

Military Sealift Command chartered ship MT Empire State performs a single point mooring operation at the Par SPM.

Located nearly two miles off the coast, the SPM is an alternative option for large tanker ships who are unable to utilize the commercial fuel pier due to size or availability.  The 263 ton SPM is connected to the sea floor and to three pipelines from the Kapolei Refinery located 27 miles away on the island of Oahu.  The SPM is able to transfer crude oil, clean oil, and bunker fuel oil used in most ships.

“This was a great step for MSC,” explained David Coulter, Military Sealift Command Pacific Sealift/Preposition Ship/Special Mission Ship team lead.  “Utilizing the SPM gives us another option for obtaining the fuel needed for MSC ships to conduct logistics missions with the U.S. Navy, and to ensure we can meet our objectives in a timely and efficient manner.”

A commcercial tug connected at the stern of the Military Sealift Command chartered ship MT Empire State keeps the tanker in-line with the PAR SPM during operations off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.

Empire State’s mission at the SPM is part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Expeditionary Fueling-at-Sea initiative.  The initiative directs the Navy to explore alternatives to commercial fuel piers; most notably foreign fuel facilities.  The PAR SPM joins fuel consolidation (CONSOL) operations conducted with tanker ships and MSC’s fleet replenishment oilers.  Since 2015, MSC’s ships world-wide have exercised CONSOLs between tanker ships and fleet replenishment oilers.  In April 2016, Empire State and USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) made history as they conducted the first underway replenishment between a State Class tanker ship and an MSC oiler.  On that day, Yukon received ten thousand gallons of fuel from Empire State.


Capabilities such as receiving fuel from the PAR SPM ensures that MSC is utilizing all resources available to ensure continued to support Navy missions anytime and anywhere.

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