Totem Ocean Inks LNG Conversion Contract with Keppel

U.S.-based Totem Ocean Trailer Express has signed a contract with Keppel Shipyard Ltd for the conversion of one of its ORCA Class Ro/Ro ships – the Midnight Sun – to dual fuel liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion.

Totem Ocean claims this to be the world’s first major conversion of a large Ro/Ro vessel to LNG. The work will begin in December and is expected to be completed in 90 days.

Once complete, the 2003-built Midnight Sun will emit fewer air and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions of particulate matter by 91 percent, NOx by 100 percent, SOx by 90 percent and carbon dioxide by 35 percent, says Totem Ocean. Her sister ship, the North Star, is expected to be converted in the 2016/2017 time frame.

Totem Ocean is part of the TOTE and Saltchuk organization which recently introduced world’s first LNG powered container ship into the Puerto Rico trade later this year.

”Totem Ocean is excited to partner with Keppel for the conversion of the Midnight Sun, enabling her to operate on natural gas,” said John Parrott, President of Totem Ocean.

”The removal and replacement of the four engines, adding 2,200 cubic meters of LNG capacity along with the addition of 47 kilometers of new cabling is a complex undertaking, and we are confident that Keppel will provide safe, timely, high-quality work to ensure the best outcome for Totem Ocean and our customers.”

Puget Sound Energy, in partnership with Totem Ocean and the Port of Tacoma, has plans to construct an LNG liquefaction terminal at the port that will serve Totem Ocean, residents of Puget Sound and the broader transportation industry in the Pacific Northwest. This facility is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.