Getting a fully-loaded cargo ship across an entire ocean requires enormous amounts of energy—usually derived from pollutant-rich diesel fuel. But environmentally-minded shipping companies have started bucking that convention and instead have begun the construction of hybrid containerships or LNG transport vessels that run primarily on cleaner burning liquified natural gas.
A 3,100 TEU Marlin-class containership is about to be delivered from the General Dynamics' NASSCO shipyard in San Diego. This $350 million vessel measures 764 feet in length, making it the largest ship, primarily powered by LNG, ever produced. It is not the only LNG-powered ship, more than 40 LNG-powered vessels are already operating around the world, but the Marlin is the first to use the fuel for hauling cargo.
When burning natural gas (stored in the 380 ton cryogenic tanks), the ship produces 98% less sulfur oxides, 71% fewer nitric oxides, 71% less carbon dioxide, and a jaw-dropping 99% reduction in particulate emissions, all while increasing the vessel' fuel efficiency compared to conventional diesel engines. What's more, this ship carries 60% more cargo per trip than TOTE's current class of Sea Star ships and also includes a ballast water treatment system to prevent the introduction of invasive species.