TOTE Orders World’s First LNG-Powered Containerships

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December 4, 2012

An artist’s rendering of new TOTE ships. Image: General Dynamics NASSCO

General Dynamics NASSCO announced today the signing of a historic a contract with TOTE, Inc. calling for the design and construction of up to five 3,100 TEU LNG-powered containerships, the first such ships ever to be constructed in the world.

Once completed, the 764-foot-long containerships are expected to be the largest ships to be primarily powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The contract between NASSCO and TOTE Shipholdings, Inc., a subsidiary of TOTE, Inc., calls for two ships and includes options for three more.

The new ships will be constructed at NASSCO’s shipyard in San Diego and designed by DSEC, a subsidiary of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea. The design will be based on proven containership-design standards and will include DSME’s patented LNG fuel-gas system and a MAN ME-GI dual fuel slow speed engine. NASSCO has successfully partnered with DSEC previously for the design and construction of five State-class product tankers which currently operate in the U.S. Jones Act market.  These new ships will operate between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, P.R.

“This project breaks new ground in green ship technology,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “It adds to our design and production capabilities and validates our reputation as one of the nation’s leading shipyards for commercial and government new-construction shipbuilding. Securing this contract has been a real team effort and will help sustain the jobs of the talented skilled tradesmen and women in our workforce.”

The double-hulled vessels will operate on either fuel oil or gas derived from LNG, which will significantly decrease emissions while increasing fuel efficiency as compared to conventionally-powered ships.The LNG-powered containerships will also include a ballast water treatment system, making them the greenest ships of their size in the world.

Anthony Chiarello, President and CEO of TOTE, Inc. said, “This investment demonstrates our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico and our environment. These vessels mark a new age of shipping using the best technology in the world.”

Construction of the first containership is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014, with delivery expected by the fourth quarter of 2015. The second ship is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.

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