Title XI Loan Funds TOTE’s LNG-Powered Containerships

 

November 2014

 

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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $324.6 million Title XI loan guarantee for SIU-contracted TOTE Shipholdings Inc.’s new Marlin Class vessels on Sept. 22. The two Jones Act vessels, which will be the world’s first dual-fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered containerships, will help serve the cargo transport needs of Puerto Rico. They are slated to enter service in 2015 and 2016, creating new jobs for Seafarers.

 

“This is proof-positive that when we work to build America’s green energy economy, we can directly support the creation of meaningful jobs, supporting the president’s goal to strengthen America’s middle class,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This one action significantly decreases emissions, supports jobs from one coast to the other, bolsters the nation’s manufacturing base, and continues growing our economy.”

 

The Title XI Loan Guarantee program promotes the growth and modernization of U.S. shipyards and the U.S. Merchant Marine. It ensures the repayment of loans that shipowners obtained in the private sector for projects in U.S. shipyards.

 

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (DCalif.), ranking member of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee (part of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee), commended the administration for approving the loan application.

 

“By using LNG fuel, which has a lower carbon footprint than diesel, these vessels also mark a significant step toward building a ‘green’ U.S.-flag fleet and promoting environmentally sustainable commerce,” Garamendi said. “For the first time in a generation, [the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration] is creating a comprehensive national maritime strategy. I hope that, as part of this strategy, they will call for the expansion of the Title XI program, as well other policy reforms and innovations to restore the prominence of the U.S. flag among seafaring nations.”

 

TOTE President and CEO Anthony Chiarello stressed the important role that Title XI played in the construction of the new vessels.

 

“This financing from the U.S. Department of Transportation and MARAD enables TOTE to invest in modern technology that will create jobs, reduce our impact on the environment, and ensure a safer and healthier workplace for our employees,” Chiarello said.

 

Tim Nolan, president of SIU-contracted Sea Star Line (a TOTE subsidiary), added, “These ships will set new standards for safety and reliability in addition to their environmental benefits. We are proud to be the first company to operate LNG-powered containerships which will ensure a cleaner and safer environment for the people of Jacksonville and Puerto Rico as well as our employees.”

 

The SIU is on record as stating that funding and implementation of the Title XI program “will help grow the U.S. economy and create and maintain American jobs in the domestic shipbuilding and related service and supply industries, as well as aboard U.S.-flag commercial vessels. It will help maintain the nation’s defense shipbuilding base and an active U.S.-flag Merchant Marine, which is essential to U.S. defense sealift requirements.”

 

The Marlin Class vessels are being built at San Diego’s General Dynamics NASSCO


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