• ITVI.USA
    13,809.570
    -6.010
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.480
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,784.050
    -7.950
    -0.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    -0.170
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.070
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.280
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.900
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.720
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    -9%
  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,809.570
    -6.010
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.480
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,784.050
    -7.950
    -0.1%
  • TLT.USA
    2.810
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.480
    -0.170
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.070
    -0.210
    -6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.090
    -6.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.280
    -0.210
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
    127.000
    0.000
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American ShipperShipping

TOTE launches new LNG ship in San Diego

The vessel, which runs on liquid natural gas, will enter service later this year between Jacksonville and San Juan.

   The world’s first first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containership, built for TOTE Maritime for use in its Sea Star Line service between Jacksonville, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico was launched Saturday at the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
   More than 3,400 persons gathered to watch the ship, christened Isla Bella, slip down the ways in a dramatic nighttime launch accompanied by fireworks and band music. The entire ceremony can be viewed here.
   Isla Bella
and a sister ship will enter service later this year.
   Fred Harris, the president of NASSCO said the ship is 90 percent complete and is on track to be delivered in September, two months ahead of schedule.
   Work on the ship has been done at a rapid pace “that is unmatched in modern U.S. shipbuilding history for a vessel of this size and complexity,” he said.
   A sister ship is under construction at NASSCO. The two ships will cost $371 million, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration, through which TOTE won a $324.6 million Title XI loan.
   TOTE said use of LNG instead of bunker fuel will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 98 percent, sulfur oxide by 97 percent, carbon dioxide by 72 percent and particulate matter by 60 percent in the Puerto Rico service.
   Anthony Chiarello, president and chief executive officer of TOTE said the ship will lead a “global revolution” toward responsible, sustainable maritime industry in the use of LNG as an environmentally superior fuel the will outstrip the most stringent environmental regulations.
   Sophie Sacco, wife of Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union, is the ship’s sponsor and had the honors of christening and launching the vessel.
   Congressman Duncan Hunter, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, said the launch of the ship showed “American ships can lead the industry in innovation,” and he hopes “American shipbuilders and operators can continue to build upon this success.”
   General Paul Selva, Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), also spoke at the event and said construction of the ship “highlights the commitment of companies like TOTE to supporting the U.S. military and maritime sector that is vitally important to our national defense.”
   “This ship not only represents the largest LNG powered containership, but an innovative modular approach to supply chain management that will certainly make a difference in our domestic trades, but will give us the basis from which to innovate our international trades,” he said.
   The ship was the 100th built in the past 56 years at NASSCO, which which constructs both commercial and military vessels.
   Twelve years ago, NASSCO built the two ships that Sea Star Line’s sister company, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, operates between Tacoma and Anchorage. Those ships will be re-engined so that they, also, and use LNG as fuel.

Chris Dupin

Chris Dupin has written about trade and transportation and other business subjects for a variety of publications before joining American Shipper and Freightwaves.