Isla Bella

General Dynamics (GD) Nassco has delivered the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containership, the Isla Bella, to US shipping firm Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE).

The new vessel was delivered nearly two months ahead of schedule under a two-ship contract signed in December 2012.

Designed to burn either fuel oil or gas derived from LNG, the 764ft long Marlin-class containerships will significantly decrease emissions while increasing fuel efficiency, when compared to conventionally powered ships.

General Dynamics Nassco vice-president and general manager Kevin Graney said: “Successfully building and delivering the world’s first LNG-powered containership here in the United States for coastwise service demonstrates that commercial shipbuilders, and owners and operators, are leading the world in the introduction of cutting-edge, green technology in support of the Jones Act.”

Isla Bella has been designed to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 98%, particulate matter by 99%, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide by 71%, the equivalent of removing 15,700 automobiles from the road.

The vessel will be equipped with a dual-fuel, slow-speed 8L70ME-C8.2-GI engine and also a ballast water treatment system, helping the vessel to be more environmentally friendly.

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By GlobalData
“Successfully building and delivering the world’s first LNG-powered containership in the United States demonstrates that commercial shipbuilders, owners and operators, are leading the world in the introduction of cutting-edge, green technology.”

TOTE has already partnered with Pivotal LNG and WesPac Midstream to provide LNG to the new ships. The second vessel in the series is scheduled for delivery early in 2016.

Under an agreement signed in October 2014, the Jones Act-qualified ships will be chartered to Sea Star Line to operate between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Nassco has two additional Marlin-class containerships to be delivered to TOTE in the future. Construction of the first vessel started in February last year.

Delivery of the first vessel is expected to take place later this year, while the second ship is scheduled for next year.

Image: Isla Bella, the world’s first LNG-powered containership. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics NASSCO