Totem Ocean Trailer Express has selected Wärtsilä to supply main engines, generators and integrated systems for the storage and handling of liquefied natural gas and fuel gas for the retrofit of its two Orca-class roll-on/roll-off vessels to operate with dual-fuel engines. The company said it signed the contract last quarter.
Totem Ocean, which operates regular scheduled service between the Port of Tacoma and Anchorage, Alaska, said Wärtsilä's technology was a deciding factor in its selection.
Totem Ocean originally hoped to modify the existing engines on the ships, but was unable to obtain a satisfactory conversion kit from the manufacturers, company officials have previously said.
The conversion will eliminate sulfur oxide emissions and reduce emissions of particulate matter by 91 percent, nitrogen oxide by 90 percent and carbon dioxide by 35 percent, according to the company.
Each of the vessels will be equipped with four, 12-cylinder dual-fuel engines and generator sets. The engines can run on either natural gas, light fuel or heavy fuel oil.
Last month TOTE Inc. announced that it had signed a letter of intent for two natural gas providers to build a liquefaction plant in Jacksonville, Fla.
, to power two new-build container vessels for its other main subsidiary, Sea Star, that will also have dual-fuel capability. Sea Star operates a short-sea shuttle to Puerto Rico.
Maritime transportation companies, much like the rest of the freight industry, are increasingly exploring the benefits afforded by natural gas in the face of stricter environmental legislation and high prices for oil-based heavy bunker fuels.
“We are seeing a transformative change in the marine industry with the switch from oil based product to natural gas,” Quentin Stewart, sales manager, Ship Power, Wärtsilä North America, said in a statement.
Read more about the freight industry's adoption of LNG in "Transitioning from diesel
" in the January issue of American Shipper