A new firm from Jersey-based Saltchuk group TOTE and General Dynamics NASSCO have started construction works on a new Marlin class at NASSCO’s shipyard in San Diego, California.
The vessel will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered containership in the world.
The new Marlin class will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 98%, particulate matter by 99%, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide by 71%, compared to TOTE’s other ships operating in Puerto Rico.
TOTE has partnered with Pivotal LNG and WesPac Midstream to provide LNG to the ships.
The house sub-committee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation chairman and state representative Duncan Hunter said the ships will be the most advanced, environmentally progressive vessels of their kind and also represent $350m in US investment, 600 American shipyard jobs, and progression of the indispensable domestic maritime industry.
Saltchuk chairman Mark Tabbutt said the move to LNG fuel is no less significant than the evolution from sail to steam.
"The Marlins represent the start of a new age in American maritime," Tabbutt said.
General Dynamics NASSCO president Fred Harris said the company is pleased to begin construction of the lead ship on this historic project.
"All of the stakeholders on this first-of-a-kind programme, including NASSCO, our Korean partners DSEC, TOTE, ABS, and the USCG, are completely focused on its success. We are beginning construction at a level of design, planning and material readiness that is unsurpassed," Harris said.
The Marlins are scheduled to enter service in late 2015 and early 2016, and will serve the home port in Jacksonville, Florida.
Image: TOTE’s Marlin class will be the first LNG-powered containership in the world. Photo: courtesy of TOTE, Inc.