Monday, October 5, 2015

TOTE, MARAD Partner on LNG Study

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) said Oct. 5 that it has entered into a $900,000 cooperative agreement with TOTE Maritime to develop knowledge regarding the costs and benefits of vessel conversions to liquefied natural gas propulsion.

The demonstration project on the use of LNG for containership propulsion is a part of an ongoing program to promote increased use of alternative fuels and technology in the maritime industry.

TOTE is converting the containership M/V Midnight Sun to operate on LNG and will work with MARAD to obtain pre and post-conversion air emissions data, and operational information to assist maritime stakeholders in assessing the potential of LNG conversions.

The study is expected to be completed by 2018.

The M/V Midnight Sun is a roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) cargo ship that provides round-trip shipping service between the Port of Tacoma and the Port of Anchorage. TOTE signed a contract with Finnish corporation Wärtsilä in late 2013 for the conversion of the Midnight Sun and its sister ship, the M/V North Star, to run on LNG. The conversions are expected to be among the largest ever undertaken in North America.