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TOTE's project to build four LNG-fuelled boxships hangs on Honolulu terminal deal

Shipper aims to secure the new deepwater Kapalama Container Terminal in Hawaii.





Updated on 18 Aug 2017 16:10 GMT

TOTE has confirmed that it is working with Philly Shipyard Inc (PSI) to build four LNG-powered, Aloha-class containerships as part of its plan to establish a new shipping service to Haiwaii.

In order for the project to move forward, however, it will be necessary for the transportation firm to secure the new deepwater Kapalama Container Terminal (KCT) in Honolulu - "a critical step in making the new service a reality", the company says.

TOTE noted on Thursday that it had begun discussions this week to land the terminal deal. A new LNG-powered operation for Hawaii would complement the services it already provides to Alaska and Puerto Rico.

"As part of its commitment and stewardship of the communities it serves, the company has invested more than $600 million to convert its ships to run on natural gas, making its fleet the most environmentally friendly in the U.S.," TOTE highlighted.

PSI previously announced, last month, that it had signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the construction and sale of two LNG-fuelled boxships for the Hawaiian trade with an option for another two, but the name of the shipping company was not revealed.

In July's release, PSI also referred to the vessel size as being 3,700 TEU and said that it had already begun construction of the ships in order to support the shipping firm's optimal delivery dates.

The new TOTE vessels are to incorporate a fuel-efficient hull design, dual-fuel engines with LNG capability, and double-hulled fuel tanks.

The vessels are the continuation of the series of two similar 3,600-TEU, Aloha-class containerships currently under construction at PSI for Matson, also for the Hawaii trade lane.

According to PSI's specifications for the two boxships it is building for Matson, the LNG fuel tank capacity is 3,300 cubic metres (cbm), while the vessel can also hold up to 2,600 cbm of heavy fuel oil (HFO) and 1,900 cbm of marine gas oil (MGO).

The Matson ships' main engine is the electronically controlled, dual-fuel, two-stroke MAN B&W 7S90ME-C10.5-GI.

Commenting on the importance of securing the terminal facility, TOTE said: "Timing is critical for construction of new ships for Hawaii and a commitment for terminal space in Honolulu is needed to move the new venture forward."

Referring, it would appear, to the impact of the upcoming global cap on the sulphur content of marine fuel in 2020, TOTE noted: "New environmental regulations taking effect in 2020 necessitate replacement of aged ships currently operating in the trade".

The new vessels are due to enter service in early 2020 and 2021.






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