TOTE Maritime Alaska, part of American marine transportation group TOTE, has completed the first of four conversion periods for the Orca class vessels, a process which will enable the ships to use LNG as fuel.
TOTE Maritime’s North Star arrived in Anchorage on February 25, completing its first voyage after being outfitted with two LNG tanks immediately behind the ship’s bridge.
In addition to the LNG tanks and accompanying infrastructure, the ship received engine updates necessary to utilize LNG as a fuel and underwent a standard regulatory dry-dock, the company said.
In 2017, the company contracted MAN PrimeServ, a division of MAN Diesel & Turbo, to convert two roll on/roll-off (RoRo) ships to dual-fuel operation.
This conversion is expected to reduce air emissions from the 65,314 gross ton ships, eliminating sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter while reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide.
“We are excited to be the first shipping company in the United States to undertake this important environmental effort” Mike Noone, President of TOTE Maritime Alaska, noted.
Over the next four years, three more conversion periods will be required to finalize the transition of TOTE Maritime Alaska’s vessels to LNG. Each of these conversion periods will take place in the winter. The conversion of both ships is scheduled to be complete in Q1 of 2021.