Totem Ocean chooses Wärtsilä technology for largest LNG ship conversion in North America

Wärtsilä Corporation, Press release 18 February 2014 at 20:45 UTC+2
  • Totem Ocean chooses Wärtsilä technology for Largest LNG ship conversion in North America

Totem Ocean Trailer Express (Totem Ocean) has announced that Wärtsilä will supply main engines, generators and integrated LNG storage and fuel gas handling systems (LNGPac™) for the largest LNG conversions ever undertaken in North America. In making this decision John Parrott, President of Totem Ocean, cited Wärtsilä’s proven technology as a deciding factor in selecting the company. Mr Parrott emphasized that “maintaining reliable, on time service is critical to Totem Ocean’s customers as well as the economy and citizens of Alaska.”

The contract was signed in the fourth quarter of 2013, and executives from both companies met on February 17, 2014 in Tacoma, Washington to announce the project.

“Today marks the beginning of a long relationship between our two companies,” said Parrott. ”Our relationship will outlast this project to extend over the 35-plus year life of our vessels.”

Totem Ocean’s fleet of two Orca Class roll-on/roll-off cargo ships – M.V. Midnight Sun and M.V. North Star transport about one-third of all the goods required by the inhabitants of Alaska. Cargo includes essential items such as food, household goods, vehicles, construction materials and military supply support.

As a result of the conversion, the Totem Ocean vessels will set new standards for environmental responsibility by reducing sulphur oxide (SOx) emission by 100 per cent; particulate matter (PM) by 91 per cent; nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 90 per cent; and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 35 per cent.

”It is an unprecedentedly exciting time to be in the maritime industry. Economic constraints and the need to comply with environmental legislation have combined to accelerate the switch to LNG fuel. Wärtsilä is uniquely positioned to enable this transition since we have been a leader in developing the appropriate technology for nearly 30 years. We look forward to working with TOTE on converting the Midnight Sun and North Star to LNG so that they can realize the benefits that LNG as a marine fuel can provide,” says Björn Rosengren, President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation.

Project Specs

  • Each of the vessels will be equipped with four 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines and generator sets
  • Wärtsilä 50DF engines have been designed to give high output combined with fuel flexibility, low emissions, efficiency and reliability
  • Engines can be run either on natural gas, light fuel oil or heavy fuel oil
  • Wärtsilä also provides the vessels with two 1100 m³ LNG fuel storage tanks and the associated automaton and fuel gas handling systems (LNGPac™)
  • In addition to the equipment, Wärtsilä is taking responsibility for the design, engineering and integration of the system, and project and site management for its scope of supply

“We are seeing a transformative change in the marine industry with the switch from oil based product to natural gas,” says Quentin Stewart, Sales Manager, Ship Power, Wärtsilä North America.

• John Parrott, President of Totem Ocean Trailer Express and Björn Rosengren, President & CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation
• Totem Ocean ship
• Totem Ocean Conversion Transparent

For further information please contact:

Mr Pete Jacobs
General Manager, Sales
Wärtsilä Ship Power
Tel: +1 281-513-9836

Ms Mirja-Maija Santala
Media Manager
Wärtsilä Corporation
Tel. +358 400 793 827  

Ms Emily Reiter
Communications & Philanthropy Director
Totem Ocean Trailer Express
Tel +1 253.905.9093

About Wärtsilä
Wärtsilä is a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising technological innovation and total efficiency, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.
In 2013, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 4.7 billion with approximately 18,700 employees. The company has operations in more than 200 locations in nearly 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, Finland.
For more information, visit and Wärtsilä Newsroom

About Totem Ocean Trailer Express
Totem Ocean Trailer Express (Totem Ocean) is one the companies owned by TOTE, Inc., a subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources of Seattle, WA. The privately-owned shipping company has operated roll-on/roll-off cargo vessels between the ports of Tacoma, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska, since 1975. For more information on Totem Ocean, please visit

About TOTE, Inc.
TOTE, Inc. is one of our nation’s leading marine transportation companies. TOTE’s subsidiaries include Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Sea Star Line, Carlile Transportation, Spectrum Transportation, TOTE Shipholdings and TOTE Services. TOTE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources, a family owned, Seattle-based transportation and petroleum distribution company. For more information, visit and