NASSCO Delivers First of ORCA Class

National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, (NASSCO) has delivered the M.V. Midnight Sun to Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. (TOTE). The Midnight Sun is the first commercial dry cargo vessel to be built in the U.S. in 10 years and the first of two new ORCAclass trailerships being built by NASSCO for TOTE's service from Tacoma.

Wash., to Anchorage. Alaska. The new vessel, which departed Tacoma, Wash, at 3:00 a.m., April 23. was scheduled to arrive at the Port of Anchorage at approximately 2:00 a.m.. April 26. The M.V. Midnight Sun and her sister ship, the M. V. North Star, are 840 x 118-ft.

(256 x 35.9-m) RoRo cargo ships capable of carrying highway trailers as large as 53 ft. (16.1 m) Cargo decks are 360,000 sq. ft. and able to carry up to 600 cargo trailers and 220 autos as well as oversized freight.

The ships employ the latest in marine technologies, including twin-screw, diesel-electric propulsion that can achieve a speed of more than 24 knots.

The ships' cargo can be loaded and discharged in nine hours, with the speed and efficiency of cargo handling being an important competitive advantage for TOTE.

The North Star will be christened on June 14, 2003, and will be delivered later this year. Both vessels have received several prestigious awards for their environmentally sensitive features.

These awards include the States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force Legacy Award for 2000, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner's 2000 Pollution Prevention Award, and the U.S. Coast Guard's William M. Benkert Foundation 2002 Environmental Excellence Bronze Award.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 10,  May 2003

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