SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The largest container ever built in San Diego was christened Saturday evening.
'The Lurine' had a ceremonial launch off from General Dynamics NASSCO, the shipyard that built the ship.
The Lurine measures nearly 870-feet long and more than 44,000 tons. It is one of two ships built for Maston; a shipping company headquartered in Hawaii. They paid roughly $500-million for the two ships.
The ships will be used to transport containers, automobiles, produce and trailers between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
The second ship, called 'The Mastonia' is under construction and is scheduled to be completed next year. A christening and launch ceremony is expected to happen by August.
"There is such a great amount of pride, it chokes you up, to be honest with you. It means so much to us," said Kevin Grainey, President of General Dynamics NASSCO. According to Grainey, the shipbuilding and ship repair industry is on the upswing as many new commercial ships require repairs or replacement. They've also worked with the Navy on several projects.
The Lurine and the Mastonia contracts, as well as other jobs with the Navy, have resulted in nearly 900 new workers added to their force. They are also looking to hire hundreds more.
"NASSCO is a flywheel for the local economy," he said. "The jobs we generate, and the businesses we touch, not just here in San Diego but around the country, are significant."