MARAD Has $900,000 Available for LNG Conversion Project

The world's first LNG-powered containership launched at the NASSCO shipyard, April 18, 2015. Photo: Department of Transportation
The world’s first LNG-powered containership launched at the NASSCO shipyard, April 18, 2015. Photo: Department of Transportation

The U.S. Maritime Administration says it has $900,000 in federal funding available to support the conversion of existing U.S. flag vessels to liquified natural gas propulsion.

The administration says it is accepting proposals from U.S. ship owners, operators and public sponsors through May 7, 2015.

Recipients of the funding will help drive research and assess the public benefit of possible incentives to encourage adoption of emission reducing technologies, specifically the use of LNG as an alternative fuel.

On Sunday, General Dynamics NASSCO launched the world’s first LNG-powered containership, Isla Bella, being built for TOTE Inc. In September 2014, TOTE received $324.6 million Title XI loan guarantee from MARAD to help fund the Isla Bella and its Marlin class sister ship. Delivery of the vessels are expected for Q4 2015 and Q1 2016.┬áTOTE is also converting two of its existing Orca-class diesel-electric cargo ships to LNG propulsion.