On Saturday, April 18 General Dynamics NASSCO launched the 3,100 TEU Isla Bella, the world’s first LNG-powered containership. More than 3,400 shipbuilders and others attended the special event at the San Diego-based shipyard accompanied by a fireworks display. The containership, part of a two-ship contract, was built for the US transport and logistics company TOTE. It was also NASSCO’s 100th launch.
When delivered in late-2015, the Jones Act-qualified ships will be the cleanest of their kind and size – anywhere in the world and will operate between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The two-ship contract was signed in 2012 with TOTE, and when completed the 764-foot long Marlin-class containerships will be the largest dry cargo ships of any kind in the world powered by LNG.
The vessels will operate on LNG, which 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.