U.S. DOT Approves $325 Million Loan Guarantee for LNG Container Ships
On Monday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the approval of a $324.6 million Title XI loan guarantee to TOTE Shipholdings, to finance the construction of two container ships that will be powered by LNG. The Title XI Loan Guarantee program promotes the growth and modernization of U.S. shipyards and the U.S. merchant marine by ensuring the U.S. vessels are manufactured in U.S shipyards by U.S. workers. “This is proof- positive that when we work to build America’s green energy economy, we can directly support the creation of meaningful jobs, supporting the President’s goal to strengthen America’s middle class,” said Foxx. “This one action significantly decreases emissions, supports jobs from one coast to the other, bolsters the nation’s manufacturing base, and continues growing our economy.” The vessels will be constructed at National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) in San Diego, California. As dual fuel vessels, primarily operating with LNG, but with light diesel as needed, the vessels will be the most environmentally friendly containerships in the world, with engines that reduce the discharge of particulates to well below the levels mandated by the U.S. EPA. Expected to be delivered in 2015 and 2016, TOTE will operate the vessels in Jones Act trade between the Port of Jacksonville and Puerto Rico, transporting containers, automobiles and other cargoes.