Friday, December 7, 2012

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TOTE to build first and largest LNG containerships ever made for Puerto Rico trade route

TOTE, Inc. announced Thursday it will order two new, high-tech containerships for use on the Puerto Rico trade route, with options for three more. General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California will build the vessels.

The 3,100-TEU vessels are expected to be the first and largest container ships in existence powered primarily by liquefied natural gas. Both vessels will be powered by dual-fuel LNG engines, which exceed the clean air regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"These vessels mark a new age of shipping using the best technology in the world," said Anthony Chiarello, president and CEO of TOTE.

The first container carriers are scheduled to be delivered and start on the trade route between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2015 and 2016. The total cost of the project is over $350 million.

The vessels will be the most eco-friendly containerships in the world, according to the statement, with 71 percent less CO2 emissions-per-container than the ships currently in Puerto Rican waters. Particulate matter will be reduced by 99 percent, sulfur oxides will be down 98 percent, and nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 91 percent.

General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego, California will build the project, which will support an expected 600 shipyard jobs in the region.

The ship design accommodates five times more 53-foot containers than current ships in Puerto Rico carry.

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