The first of four conversion periods that will see the two Orca class rollon, roll-off vessels of Tote Maritime Alaska equipped to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel, was completed in February.
The North Star arrived in Anchorage on Feb 25, completing her first voyage after being adapted to duel-fuel at the Victoria Shipyards, part of Seaspan Shipyards, Canada, with two LNG tanks immediately aft of the bridge.
In addition to the LNG tanks, the ship received the necessary engine changes to use LNG as a fuel and at the same time, she also underwent drydocking.
This conversion will drastically reduce air emissions from Tote Maritime’s Alaska ships, virtually eliminating sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter while drastically reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide.
The company said reduced emissions will result in a healthier environment at Tacoma, Puget Sound and Anchorage, where the ships operates.
Three more conversion phases will be required to convert both ships and the work will be carried out in the winter to minimise the impact on customers and consumers. The conversion of both ships is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. Both Orca class North Star and Midnight Sun, each of 65,314gt, were constructed by NASSCO at its San Diego shipyard and were commissioned in 2003.