As a locally grown family business, our family of companies have been industry leaders in environmental stewardship for 35 years.
When commissioned, Foss’ North Sound tugs were the most powerful escort tugs in the nation, capable of taking control of fully loaded tankers in the Straits; we were the first to have all double hull bunker barges in California — almost a decade before the law required it; we were first in the world to build a hybrid tugboat capable of doing six knots on battery power. Tote was the first in Puget Sound to install both shore power and a rain garden at our Tacoma cargo terminal resulting in zero vessel emissions at the dock and permanent zero water discharge into Puget Sound.
But our biggest undertaking, by far, has been converting our domestic ships from being fueled by petroleum to the cleanest fuel available today, liquid natural gas.
In 2012, for our Puerto Rico service, we ordered the world’s first two new container ships capable of using LNG as fuel and partnered with a local utility to build a new liquefaction plant in Jacksonville. The market followed and today, four container ships a week, including our two, are fueling with LNG in Jacksonville. In addition, Disney’s three new cruise ships and several new Japanese car carriers will all be fueling LNG in Jacksonville. JaxPort is now serving and attracting the greenest ships in North America and we are very proud of our role in making this happen.
In 2014, we announced the conversion of our Alaska ships to LNG and our partnership with Puget Sound Energy to be our energy supplier. Five years into our project, we expect to be using LNG next year.
We were surprised when Gov. Jay Inslee suddenly announced his personal — as opposed to official — opposition to the Tacoma LNG facility, contradicting his five-year support for our project. Inslee believes we should wait for science to develop a cleaner non-fossil fuel.
If the worldwide shipping industry had adopted Inslee’s logic one hundred years ago, ships around the world would still be burning coal.
After years of hard work and substantial private investment, we can see the finish line. Our actions have demonstrated that our lead will bring others. With the ability to attract LNG fueled ships like ours, the Port of Tacoma has the opportunity to quickly rival JaxPort as the greenest port in North America.