Transportation and logistics firm Tote has contracted engineering firm MAN Diesel & Turbo to retrofit two vessels for LNG operation.
After-sales division MAN PrimeServ will carry out the work to retrofit the vessels North Star and Midnight Sun on behalf of Tote Maritime Alaska. The roll on/off ships are currently both powered by four sets of MAN 58/64 engines and will be retrofitted to MAN 58/64 dual-fuel units.
“TOTE Maritime Alaska is excited to convert its fleet to LNG power which will result in a significant reduction in air emissions including particulate matter, sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). This significant investment of time and money is a reflection of our commitment to the environment, our customers and the state of Alaska” Michael Noone, President of Tote Maritime Alaska, said.
Largest LNG conversion in North America
The retrofit contract will cover design, development and testing of a first-of-its-kind dual-fuel kit, which will serve as foundation for the largest LNG conversion in North America.
The two Orca class ships were originally constructed by NASSCO, part of U.S. aerospace and Defence firm General Dynamics and are used to carry operate fast routes between Anchorage, Alaska and Tacoma, Washington. Tote Maritime Alaska handles approximately one-third of goods transportation between the continental US and Alaska.
“To meet TOTE’s requirements, we have developed a solution based on our well-proven 51/60DF retrofit. Accordingly, the engineering approach to the 58/64 retrofit is very familiar to us, and this project represents a straightforward conversion procedure,” Dr. Thomas Spindler, Head of Upgrades & Retrofits at MAN PrimeServ, explained.
Tote has been at the vanguard of shipping industry adoption of LNG as a transport fuel and has pushed the boundaries via its subsidiary Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, which ordered the world's first LNG-powered Marlin class container ships. The Isla Bella and Perla del Caribe entered service in 2015, both of which feature single MAN B&W 8L70ME-GI engines.
“We have been investigating and testing many options for shifting the fleet to LNG… This innovative solution that has been developed in partnership with MAN, will be an important milestone for the industry,” Peter Keller, Executive Vice President of Tote, said.