December 15, 2015 – “TOTE Maritime’s 3,100-TEU containership Isla Bella was due to set sail for San Juan, PR, on November 24, marking the first time a ship in a Jones Act liner service will burn Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. When the 764-foot-long Isla Bella transited the Panama Canal back on October 30 on her way to the Port of Jacksonville, Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano called her “a true engineering feat.”
Among the principal maritime stakeholders involved in the successful launch of the Isla Bella and her sister Perla del Caribe are: owner and operator TOTE, shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO, designer DSEC (Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering’s ship design arm), engine licensee MAN Diesel & Turbo, classification society ABS, and regulator U.S. Coast Guard.
The two Marlin Class containerships were contracted by TOTE in December 2012 and are being built at a total cost of about $375 million.
The 764-ft Isla Bella is equipped with the world’s first dual-fuel slow-speed engine, an 8L70ME-GI built by Korea’s Doosan Engine, under license from MAN Diesel & Turbo. With a 3,100 TEU capacity, the LNG-powered Isla Bella reduces NOx emissions by 98 percent, SOx emissions by 97 percent and CO2 emissions by 76 percent. The technology makes the ship one of the world’s most environmentally friendly containerships afloat.
During LNG will allow the Marlin Class Isla Bella to be fully compliant with strict emissions regulations while operating in both the North American Emissions Control Area and the U.S. Caribbean ECA.
At the time of her delivery, Kevin Graney, Vice President and General Manager of General Dynamics NASSCO, said, “Successfully building and delivering the world’s first LNG-powered containership here in the United States for coastwise service demonstrates that commercial shipbuilders, and owners and operators, are leading the world in the introduction of cutting-edge, green technology in support of the Jones Act.”
The moment is bittersweet for TOTE as it unfolds within the shadow of the tragic loss of the SS El Faro with all hands aboard during Hurricane Joaquin on October 1. The ship’s crew of 28 and five Polish nationals onboard were lost. The U.S. Navy, working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has located the ship in waters 15,000 feet deep near the Crooked Island in the Bahamas.
The Isla Bella will be joined by the Perla del Caribe in Puerto Rico cargo service in the first quarter of 2016.”