The world first LNG fueled container ship has been launched at General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego for operation by Sea Star Line in the U.S. mainland-Puerto Rico trade.
The Isla Bella is the first of two Marlin-class vessels ordered by Seattle-based TOTE Shipholdings Inc. The ships have dual-fuel engines that will operate primarily on liquefied natural gas but will be capable of burning diesel when needed.
Growing interest in LNG as a ship’s fuel is being driven by increasingly strict regulations on vessel emissions of sulpfur dioxide and other pollutants. Operators in emissions control zones off North American and European waters are the first to feel the impact of the stricter rules.
By switching to LNG, TOTE is reducing NOx emissions by 98 percent, SOx by 97 percent, carbon dioxide by 72 and particulate matter by 60 percent in the Puerto Rico trade.