Introducing ISLA BELLA – World’s First LNG-Powered Containership Launched at NASSCO

Photo courtesy NASSCO
Photo courtesy NASSCO

San Diego shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO on Saturday celebrated the launch of the Isla Bella, the world’s first LNG-powered containership.

More than 3,400 were in attendance at the launch ceremony, including the shipbuilders, their families, industry stakeholders and the public. The name of the vessel was also revealed during the ceremony.

The ship’s name, Isla Bella, was selected from a contest hosted in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico. Isla Bella translates to beautiful island in English and will serve as a reminder of the cultural and economic significance of the ships.

The ship’s sponsor, Mrs. Sophie Sacco, wife of Michael Sacco, president of the Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO, had the honor of christening the ship with the traditional champagne bottle break over the hull.

Here’s some video of the launch:

The containership is part of a two-ship contract with TOTE, Inc., a leading logistics and transportation company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The new ships, known as the Marlin Class, will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containerships in the world and will provide Jones Act shipping services from Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The 3,100 TEU ship’s are designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea. The design is based on proven containership-design standards and include DSME’s patented LNG fuel-gas system and a single MAN B&W 8L70ME-GI dual-fuel gas-powered engine. The ME-GI engine will primarily operate on LNG, which will help the make the vessels among the most environmentally friendly containerships in the world. The engine itself is also significant because it marked the first commercial installation of the new ME-GI engine – a dual-fuel, low-speed two stroke from MAN Diesel and Turbo.

The ships are each equipped with two 900 cubic meter cryogenic tanks weighing 380 tons each, which will be used to store the LNG fuel onboard the ships.

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.

Full Coverage: TOTE’s Marlin-Class

Delivery of the Isla Bella is expected for the Q4 2015, followed by the second ship in the Q1 2016. The vessels will operate under charter agreements with Sea Star Line LLC.

The launch of the Isla Bella also marked the 100th ship launch for NASSCO.

TOTE’s contract with NASSCO includes options for up to three additional ships.

Photo courtesy NASSCO
Photo courtesy NASSCO
An illustration of TOTE's Marlin-class. Image (c) TOTE
An illustration of TOTE’s Marlin-class. Image (c) TOTE
The 8L70ME-C8.2GI engine was built under license from Doosan Engine in South Korea and delivered to the shipyard in July.
The 8L70ME-C8.2GI engine was built under license from Doosan Engine in South Korea and delivered to the shipyard in July.
Marlin class propulsion system configuration. Photo: TOTE
Marlin class propulsion system configuration. Photo: TOTE
LNG fuel tank configuration.
LNG fuel tank configuration.

TOTE-Marlin-Vessel-Emission-Reductions