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The World’s First LNG-Powered Container Ship Will Be Supported By Loan Guarantee From MARAD

World Trade – maritime

Open Eyes Opinion {source: MARAD}

MARAD Loan Guarantee Supports Launch of World’s First LNG-Powered Container Ship

New Vessel Will Create Jobs, Increase Capacity to Move Cargo between Florida and Puerto Rico

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administrator Paul N. Jaenichen joined Federal, Congressional, state and local officials to launch the Isla Bella, the world’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered container ship. 

This vessel is one of two new container ships designed to run on natural gas that were ordered by TOTE Ship holdings, Inc., a Seattle based maritime company.

The 764-foot Marlin-class vessel has two dual-fuel engines that will operate primarily on LNG but are also capable of burning diesel when needed, which will significantly reduce the air-polluting emissions. 

TOTE will operate the vessels between the Port of Jacksonville and Puerto Rico, transporting containers, automobiles and other cargoes. The ships will provide greater efficiencies and increase the available volume of refrigeration equipment used for shipping, which is critical to ensuring pharmaceuticals, produce, and other products vital to the residents of Puerto Rico are delivered in the best possible condition.

“Federal investment proves, once again, to pay big dividends,” Jaenichen said. “As a nation that relies on waterborne freight transportation, our maritime industry is moving steadily forward on renewable energy and clean-fuel options while increasing shipping efficiencies that benefit American consumers.”

This vessel is one of two ships that are being financed with a $324.6 million Federal Ship Financing Program (Title XI) loan guarantee from the Maritime Administration (MARAD) to finance its construction. 

The MARAD Title XI Loan Guarantee program promotes the growth and modernization of U.S. shipyards and the U.S. Merchant Marine by ensuring that American vessels are manufactured in American shipyards by American workers.

The Title XI program guarantees the repayment of loans, obtained in the private sector by ship owners, for the construction reconstruction, or reconditioning of vessels in U.S. shipyards.  MARAD currently guarantees approximately $1.7 billion in U.S. shipbuilding projects.


The Maritime Administration is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation.

Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety.

The Maritime Administration is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America’s young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans.

The Maritime Administration also maintains a fleet of cargo ships in reserve to provide surge sealift during war and national emergencies, and is responsible for disposing of ships in that fleet, as well as other non-combatant Government ships, as they become obsolete.

The Maritime Administration recently realigned many of its functions, to revitalize its role as an industry facilitator, and to bring greater focus to the areas of environment and safety.


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