General Dynamics NASSCO is preparing to launch the world’s first LNG-powered containership built for US shipping firm Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE).
NASSCO’s shipyard in San Diego started construction of this 764ft-long 3,100TEU Marlin-class vessel in February last year.
The new vessel, which is part of a two-ship contract signed in 2012, is designed to burn either fuel oil or gas derived from LNG, thereby significantly decreasing gaseous emissions and increasing fuel-efficiency.
It will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 98%, particulate matter by 99%, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide by 71%.
The vessel will be equipped with a dual-fuel, slow-speed 8L70ME-C8.2-GI engine, built by Doosan Engine under licence from MAN Diesel and Turbo.
In addition, the container ship will be installed with a ballast water treatment system, helping the vessel to be more environmentally friendly.
It is expected to enter service later this year, while the second vessel in the series is scheduled for delivery early in 2016.
The two vessels will be chartered to Sea Star Line under an agreement signed in October 2014 and will operate between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
TOTE has partnered with Pivotal LNG and WesPac Midstream to provide LNG to the ships.
In September 2014, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) sanctioned a $324.6m loan guarantee to TOTE and its parent company Saltchuk Resources for the construction of the Marlin-class vessels.
Image: An artist’s rendering of TOTE-1. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics.