NASSCO Completes Bunkering for World’s Second LNG-Powered Containership – Perla Del Caribe

The LNG-powered Isla Bella, sister ship to the Perla Del Caribe. Photo: JAXPORT Marine Unit via NASSCO
The LNG-powered Isla Bella, sister ship to the Perla Del Caribe. Photo: JAXPORT Marine Unit via NASSCO

General Dynamics NASSCO says it has successfully completed the LNG bunkering for the Perla Del Caribe, the world’s second containership to be powered by liquefied natural gas.

The Perla Del Caribe received 210,000 gallons of LNG fuel over a 48-hour period beginning December 11th. The amount is nearly double the amount bunkered for its sister ship, the Isla Bella, the world’s first LNG-powered containership. The Isla Bella, the lead ship in the LNG-powered ‘Marlin-class’, was built by NASSCO and delivered in October of this year.

“This represents another milestone amongst many in the advancement of green, environmentally-friendly ship technology. This effort in particular demonstrates successful collaboration between industry and several regulatory entities, laying the groundwork for comparable green projects in the future,” said Parker Larson, director of commercial programs at General Dynamics NASSCO.

Bunkering services were provided by the California-based company Clean Energy as well as Baker Hughes and Envent at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. Representatives from NASSCO worked collaboratively with several regulatory agencies to prepare for the event, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the American Bureau of Shipping, the San Diego Fire Department, and the Air Pollution Control District.

“As Captain of the Port of San Diego, I am grateful for the exceptional preparation and cooperation involved with this LNG bunkering operation,” said Captain Jonathan S. Spaner. “Indeed, these LNG-powered containerships are unique in our Nation and the world. I commend the team at NASSCO and all interagency partners for their efforts to ensure a safe, efficient, and successful bunkering evolution.”

Upon delivery in Q1 2016, the Perla Del Caribe will join the Isla Bella for its trade route between Jacksonville, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The containerships are part of a two-ship contract between NASSCO and TOTE, signed in December 2012.

The groundbreaking technology used in construction of the 764-foot long Marlin containerships will dramatically decrease emissions and increase fuel efficiency when compared to conventionally-powered ships, making them the cleanest cargo-carrying ships anywhere in the world.

In the past decade, NASSCO has delivered 13 commercial ships and currently has eight commercial ships in its backlog – with an additional ship, an Expeditionary Mobile Base, for the U.S. Navy under construction. For its commercial work, NASSCO partners with South Korean shipbuilding power, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), for access to shipbuilding group’s ship design and shipbuilding technologies.