General Dynamics-NASSCO has launched Isla Bella, the first liquid natural gas-powered container ship that the Barrio Logan shipyard in San Diego has built for the marine transportation company TOTE, Inc.
The 764-foot-long ship slid down the launch-way Saturday at a ceremony at NASSCO, the last major shipyard on the West Coast. The company is also building a second LNG-powered vessel for TOTE under a contract signed in 2012.
The vessels will be the most environmentally friendly containerships in the world, according to TOTE, with CO2 emissions-per-container that are 71 percent less than the vessels now in the Puerto Rican trade. Particulate matter will be reduced by 99 percent, sulfur oxides will be reduced by 98 percent and nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 91 percent. The 3100-TEU ships are expected to be the largest ships of any kind in the world powered primarily by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"The launch of the Isla Bella signals a very significant milestone for the thousands of men and women at NASSCO," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "Not only does it commemorate NASSCO’s 100th ship launch, it validates NASSCO’s capability to break new ground in green ship technology and lead in the design,
construction and conversion of ships to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of LNG."
The Marlin-class container ships "will be the largest dry-cargo ships of any kind in the world powered by LNG," NASSCO said in a statement. "The vessels ... will significantly decrease emissions while increasing fuel efficiency as compared to conventionally powered ships. The LNG-powered ships will also include a ballast water treatment system, making them the greenest ships of their size anywhere in the world."
These Jones-Act-qualified container ships are scheduled to operate between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, the statement said.