ANCHORAGE, AK – July 19, 2023 - TOTE Maritime Alaska, LLC (TOTE) an industry leader in sustainable shipping, completed a major milestone becoming the first maritime company in the world to convert its entire fleet to run the most environmentally friendly maritime fuel on the market. This is TOTE Maritime Alaska’s second biggest investment back into the Alaska trade since its inception in 1975.
The company completed the final phase of converting its two ORCA-Class ships to operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG), a cleaner burning alternative to traditional maritime fuels. The process was finalized when the MV North Star recently completed the LNG commissioning period with the U.S. Coast Guard this Spring. MV Midnight Sun completed commissioning in 2022. This marks the final step in a 10-year process of converting the vessels to run on dual-fuel LNG. Alternative fuels, such as LNG, result insignificant emissions reductions and an improvement in overall air quality.
“TOTE is proud to lead the way in environmentally conscious shipping and protecting the communities we serve. Completion of this historic LNG conversion project will bring the most advanced, environmentally friendly technology to the Alaska trade and will support long-term sustainability for our operations, our customers and the communities that rely on us.” said TOTE Maritime Alaska President, Alex Hofeling.
Midnight Sun and North Star are roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) ships that run from Tacoma, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska. Since 1975, the company has delivered essential food supplies, equipment, and large industrial cargo throughout the state on their “built-for-Alaska” ships. Its highly efficient and dependable custom-built RO/RO cargo ships, purposefully designed to meet Alaska’s diverse industry needs and challenging weather conditions, are part of TOTE’s commitment to Alaska, its communities and the environment.
Underscoring a continued commitment to protecting the environment, the LNG conversion follows decades of investments for more sustainable operations. TOTE was the first shipping company in the Puget Sound to build an industrial raingarden, designed to filter pollutants from water drains. In 2011, TOTE also completed the cold- ironing or “shore power project” in partnership with Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy to supply electricity to dockside vessels and reduce reliance upon shipboard generators. As a result, diesel and greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 2,600 tons annually - the equivalent of removing more than 550 cars from the road each year.
“The investments that TOTE has made are designed for the long-term, to support the people and communities of Alaska for decades to come,” said TOTE Maritime Vice President and General Manager, Art Dahlin. “Our built-to-serve vessels have been customized to ensure dedicated, reliable service to Alaska, providing substantial advantages to our state’s environment and our economy.”