Artist’s rendering of the Marlin Class containerships showing LNG storage tanks aft
ship expected in late May 2015. Just last month, Korea’s Doosan Engine, under license from MAN Diesel and Turbo, delivered the first 8L70ME-GI engine for TOTE’s 3,100-TEU Marlin Class containership. Earlier this year, Doosan completed the engine’s Factory Acceptance Tests, a culmination of months of testing to ensure compliance with U.S. regulations and restrictions. TOTE is the launch customer of the ME-GI engine, a significant advancement in propulsion technology. In addition to the engines, two 900 m 3 tanks, manufactured by Cryos, were delivered. These massive stainless steel cryogenic tanks weigh 380 tons each and will store liquefied natural gas aboard the Marlin ships. The containerships are designed by DSEC, the design arm of Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The design will include DSME’s patented LNG fuel-gas supply systems and a MAN ME-GI dual fuel, slow speed engine. “These vessels are the largest investment in our company’s history,” says Denise Tabbutt, one of the three sisters who are primary shareholders in TOTE’s parent company, Saltchuk Resources. “We have a tremendous amount of confidence in the NASSCO team and we are lucky to have such incredible partners.” TOTE has applied for a Title XI ship loan guarantee to construct the two ships. The requested loan amount is $320 million, with the actual cost to TOTE of $366 million, according to the Maritime Administration website. The LNG container ships are expected to enter service in late 2015 and early 2016.
Award winning TOTE has garnered awards from both the international community, as well as here at home. TOTE along with GD-NASSCO were recognized last year at Nor-shipping 2013 in Oslo, Norway, with a Next Generation Award for setting a benchmark for green ship technology. Chiarello was named as a Champion of Change by the Whitehouse earlier this year for the company’s fleet changeover to LNG. “I’m extremely honored and proud of that recognition, but from my perspective, it was the result of the entire organization—the Saltchuk organization, the TOTE organization and the many people involved. To create the opportunity based on the things we are doing in the LNG arena, the Orca ships and the Marlin ships. I accepted that award on behalf of the entire organization. It was an honor to be recognized but from our perspective it is recognition for the entire group.” 20 MARINE LOG August 2014
Refueling with LNG TOTE has already announced publicly how it plans to refuel its new 3,100-TEU dual fuel Marlin Class containerships under construction at General Dynamics NASSCO, San Diego, CA, for service between the Port of Jacksonville, FL, and Puerto Rico. Pivotal LNG, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly traded AGL Resources, and WesPac Midstream LLC were selected by TOTE, Inc. to provide LNG for the new dual fuel containerships. Additionally, a joint venture between Pivotal LNG, Inc. and WesPac plans to develop a new LNG plant in Jacksonville. AGL Resources is one of the largest operators of liquefaction facilities in the nation primarily through its distribution utility operations that use the LNG facilities for peak-shaving services for customers when demand is highest. In addition, Pivotal LNG owns and operates a merchant LNG facility and sells LNG wholesale to truck fleets and other high horsepower engine operators. WesPac is a private energy infrastructure company with several small LNG facilities under development in North America. Chiarello says the company has a supplier for LNG “locked in” for the Port of Tacoma for the Alaska trade, but doesn’t plan to publicly announce it. “We’re comfortable with the partners that we’ve chosen.”
Positive reinforcement “We consider ourselves extremely fortunate at how positive our decision to switch to LNG has been supported by the regulatory bodies, networks and port authorities,” continues Chiarello. “And NASSCO has been a phenomenal partner. They are doing the engineering for the Orcas. At the same time, they have begun the construction of the Marlins that will meet our timeline and perhaps beat our timeline. I couldn’t be happier where we are in the process. Things have gone extremely, extremely well.” So what’s in the future for TOTE? Will they be adding more LNG newbuilds? “We had an option for an additional Marlin Class vessel,” says Chiarello, “but we are sticking with the two vessels in Alaska and Puerto Rico service. While you never say never, with a half billion dollars in assets in play, that’s going to keep us busy for a while.” He’s well aware of TOTE’s presence on the world stage. “We have to stay focused so we don’t miss a beat. International carriers have their eyes set on what is going on here. They know that LNG is the fuel of the future. For them it is more about supply. We are honored and humbled to be in the position we are in.” Not bad for a kid from Brooklyn. ■