General Dynamics NASSCO has posted the following news release concerning the upcoming conversions of two Seafarers-contracted vessels. NASSCO employs union shipyard workers, and its president, Fred Harris, is a former union mariner.
SAN DIEGO – General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), announced today that it has finalized a contract with Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) to design the conversion of the company’s two existing Orca Class, diesel-electric trailerships to liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion. This design contract is in addition to the new-construction order that TOTE Shipholdings placed with NASSCO last month for the construction of two new LNG-powered containerships.
“We are very excited to be engaged in another LNG project with TOTE,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “This project provides yet another sign that we are in the dawn of a new era of LNG propulsion. NASSCO will be a leader in the design, construction and conversion of ships to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of LNG.”
The TOTE conversion and new-construction projects validate NASSCO’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading shipyards for commercial and government new construction. The projects add to the engineering and construction capabilities the shipbuilder offers customers and leverages its design/procurement partnership with Daewoo Ship Engineering Company (DSEC), as well as its recent investments in people, facilities and equipment.
Conversion of these ships to LNG propulsion will significantly reduce or nearly eliminate the sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide (SOx, NOx, and CO2) and particulate matter from ship emissions when compared to traditional diesel fuel. In recent years, there have been large increases in the cost of diesel fuel as well as stricter emission regulations. These factors, along with the incredible environmental benefits made possible by this new technology, make LNG propulsion desirable for many new shipbuilding and conversion projects.
The 839-foot Orca Class ships, which operate between Tacoma, Wash., and Anchorage, Alaska, were designed and built by NASSCO. Both ships were delivered in 2003.