First LNG Containership Transits the Panama Canal
The world’s first LNG-powered container vessel, TOTE Maritime’s Isla Bella, transited the Panama Canal October 30, marking a milestone not only for the maritime industry, but also for the Canal as it nears the completion of its expansion scheduled to open in 2016, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced.
The 3,100 TEU capacity, 764-foot-long American-flagged Isla Bella is the first of two Marlin Class containerships contracted by TOTE Maritime and built by General Dynamics NASSCO. Delivered last month the LNG-powered vessel features increased fuel efficiency and reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 98 percent, sulfur oxide emissions by 97 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 76 percent.
“The Isla Bella is a true engineering feat,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano. “We are honored that this vessel, with its unique technology, transited the Canal.”
Isla Bella is scheduled to begin providing freight service in the fourth quarter of 2015 between Jacksonville, Fla. and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Upon completion of the second Marlin Class containership, Perla del Caribe, launched in August 2015 and scheduled to enter service in the first quarter of 2016, the vessels will be the largest and most environmentally friendly LNG-powered dry cargo ships in the world.