Liquified natural gas for vessel propulsion is coming to the Pacific Northwest, with Totem Ocean Trailer Express (Totem Ocean) announcing a contract with Singapore-based Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. for converting the 839’x118’ trailership Midnight Sun to dual fuel LNG.

The company says this is the world’s first major conversion of a large RO/RO trailership. The vessel is to come off its usual Tacoma, Wash. to Anchorage, Ak. route at the end of November, before the 90-day conversion project starts in December.

The conversion will reduce particulate emission by 91%, nitrogen oxides by 100%, sulfur oxides by 90%, and carbon dioxide by 35%. Totem Ocean said it will convert the other Orca-class sister ship North Star in 2016-2017. Totem Ocean is part of the TOTE and Saltchuk organization that is introducing the world’s first LNG powered containership into the Puerto Rico trade later this year.

Puget Sound Energy inked an agreement with Totem Ocean in January to provide LNG for its ships, and PSE plans to build an LNG liquefaction terminal at the Port of Tacoma by the end of 2018. that would supply fuel to Totem Ocean, Puget Sound communities and the broader transportation industry. Meanwhile, TOTE and its partner WesPac Midstream are building North America’s first LNG bunker barge to deliver fuel to the ships.

“The removal and replacement of the four engines, adding 2,200 cubic meters of LNG capacity along with the addition of 47 kilometers of new cabling is a complex undertaking, and we are confident that Keppel will provide safe, timely, high-quality work to ensure the best outcome for Totem Ocean and our customers,” said John Parrott, president of Totem Ocean.

Keppel Offshore & Marine’s Michael Chia, managing director for marine and technology), said Keppel aims to grow its dual-fuel business: “Leveraging our strong track record and experience in ship modification and conversion work, Keppel is well positioned to capture this growing market to meet the industry’s needs for environmentally friendly solutions.”