TOTE Finalizes Charter for First LNG-Powered Containerships

An artist's rendering of 3,400 TEU Marlin-class,  Image: General Dynamics NASSCO
An artist’s rendering of 3,400 TEU Marlin-class, Image: General Dynamics NASSCO

TOTE Shipholdings Inc. has finalized charter agreements with Sea Star Line LLC for the operation of the world’s first LNG-powered containerships currently under construction at NASSCO in San Diego, California.

The new Marlin Class ships will be the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containerships in the world and will provide Jones Act shipping services from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico.

The two new vessels will almost double the cargo capacity available to Puerto Rico each week and will be the first ships with fifty three foot container capacity under deck for expanded services to the U.S. territory.

Tote says the first of the two ships, Hull 495, will enter the Puerto Rico trade in the fourth quarter of 2015 and the second ship, Hull 496, will enter the trade in the first quarter of 2016.

”Improved technology and the use of LNG result in tremendous emissions reductions” noted Ben Christian, Project Manager at TOTE Shipholdings. “The new Marlin Class will reduce particulate matter by 98 percent, sulfur oxide emissions by 97 percent, carbon dioxide emissions by 72 percent and nitrous oxide emissions by 60 percent.”

Tim Nolan, President of Sea Star Line added: “These ships will set new standards for safety and reliability in addition to their environmental benefits. We are proud to be the first company to operate LNG-powered containerships which will ensure a cleaner and safer environment for the people of Jacksonville and Puerto Rico as well as our employees.”

Both TOTE Shipholdings Inc. and Sea Star Line LLC are operating companies of Jacksonville, Florida-based Tote, Inc.