US-based shipping firm Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) is to lower emissions from its two Orca-class ships by 90% using new investment.

The $1.5m grant by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Port of Tacoma will help TOTE decrease greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions while its ships are at the Tacoma terminal, the company said.

To achieve the emissions reduction, TOTE will retrofit electrical power plug-ins in both ships and the Port of Tacoma will add at the terminal 600,000V electrical maritime power.

TOTE’s ships will be the first to deploy shore-side power in the Port of Tacoma while being docked.

TOTE will supply an extra $283,000 to finish the project, which is expected to become operational by late 2010.

The EPA Region 10 has awarded the grant under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.