PANAMA CITY, Panama, November 3, 2015 – The world’s first LNG-powered container vessel transited through the Panama Canal October 30. The transit by the Isla Bella marks a milestone for the maritime industry and the Panama Canal as it nears the completion of its first-ever expansion scheduled to open in 2016.
With a 3,100 TEU capacity, the LNG-powered Isla Bella reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 98 percent, sulfur oxide emissions by 97 percent and carbon dioxide emissions by 76 percent. The ship’s technology also increases fuel efficiency compared to conventionally fueled ships.
“The Isla Bella is a true engineering feat,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano. “We are honored that this vessel, with its unique technology, transited the Canal.”
The 764 foot-long American-flagged vessel, is the first of two Marlin Class container ships contracted by TOTE Maritime and built by General Dynamics NASSCO in partnership with the American Bureau of Shipping and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Isla Bella is scheduled to begin providing freight service in the fourth quarter of 2015 between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The second Marlin Class containership will be launched in the third quarter of 2015 and will enter service in the first quarter of 2016. Once the second ship is completed, the vessels will be the largest and most environmentally friendly LNG-powered dry cargo ships in the world.
About the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is run by an autonomous agency of the Government of Panama in charge of managing, operating and maintaining the Panama Canal. The operation of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is based on its organic law and the regulations approved by its Board of Directors. For more information, please refer to the ACP’s website: http://www.pancanal.com or follow us on Twitter @thepanamacanal.