U.S. carrier TOTE Maritime on October 16 took delivery of the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered container ship, the 3,100 TEU Isla Bella, built by the San Diego-based General Dynamics NASSCO and delivered nearly two months ahead of schedule.
As part of a two-ship contract signed in December 2012 with TOTE, the 764-foot long Marlin Class container ships will be the largest dry cargo ships powered by LNG.
“Successfully building and delivering the world’s first LNG-powered container ship here in the United States for coastwise service demonstrates that commercial shipbuilders, and owners and operators, are leading the world in the introduction of cutting-edge, green technology in support of the Jones Act,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO.
TOTE, NASSCO, the American Bureau of Shipping, and the U.S. Coast Guard worked hand-in-hand from the beginning of the project to the delivery of the Isla Bella. This included collaboration during the design approval, construction and commissioning the ship to safely and effectively operate on natural gas.
The Isla Bella’s sister ship, the Perla del Caribe, was launched in San Diego back in August.
The Jones Act-qualified boxships will operate between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.