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Construction begins on LNG fuelled containership

LNG Industry,

TOTE Inc celebrated the start of construction of its new Marlin Class, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containership, at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego, California.

Commenting on the occasion, Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation, said: “These ships, will be the most advanced, environmentally progressive vessels of their kind, but they also represent US$ 350 million in US investment, 600 American shipyard jobs, and the bright future of the indispensable domestic maritime industry.”

LNG maritime fuel

The Marlin class vessels mark a new age in American shipbuilding. In 2012, TOTE announced that it would be converting its existing RO/RO fleet in Alaska, as well as investing in new containerships for the Puerto Rico trade, moving toward using LNG as the new maritime fuel.

The new Marlin class will reduce sulfur dioxide (SOx) emissions by 98%, particulate matter (PM) by 99%, nitrous oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 71% over TOTE’s ships currently operating in Puerto Rico.

New age

“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,” commented Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of Saltchuk, TOTE’s parent company.

Speakers at the event included Representative Duncan Hunter; Acting Maritime Administrator, Chip Jaenichen; Chairman of Saltchuk, TOTE’s parent company, Mark Tabbutt, and Kevin Graney, General Manager of the NASSCO shipyard.

Historic project

“We are excited to begin construction of the lead ship on this historic project,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “All of the stakeholders on this first-of-a-kind program, 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.”

The Marlin vessels, which will home port in Jacksonville, Florida, will enter service in late 2015 and early 2016. TOTE recently announced it had entered into an agreement with Pivotal LNG and WesPac Midstream to provide LNG to the ships.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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