The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that it is providing a total of $1.4 million for two projects supporting the increased use of alternative fuels and technology in the maritime industry. The funds will be used to collect information on use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine propulsion and study the issues and challenges associated with shore side storage and fueling of LNG vessels.
“Fuel-efficient ships appeal to the maritime industry for the exact same reasons that fuel-efficient cars appeal to consumers – they’re easy on the environment and their pocketbooks,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Obama Administration is committed to protecting our environment and reducing pollution, and the information we’ll gather from these projects will help us strengthen America’s clean energy economy.”
Through a partnership agreement, MARAD will provide Horizon Lines, Inc. with $900,000 to assist in conversion and monitoring of their vessel, Horizon Spirit, to operate on LNG. Measuring the efficiency and air emissions of these new LNG engines will provide valuable data as the U.S. maritime industry looks to greener and more cost effective options. This ocean going container ship operates between Long Beach, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii. The conversion is anticipated to be completed by late-2015.
The second project is a $500,000 MARAD funded LNG study conducted by the U.S. subsidiary of Det Norske Veritas Inc. to analyze the issues and challenges associated with bunkering, which is the process of supplying fuel for ships, and the landside infrastructure needed to store and distribute LNG. It is anticipated this study will be complete by spring 2014.
“The maritime industry is taking important steps to reduce vessel air emissions,” said Acting Maritime Administrator Paul N. Jaenichen. “Using clean energy means green efficient transportation and a better environment for mariners who work aboard these vessels and others who work in the maritime industry and communities.”
The two recipients were chosen in a competitive process to partner with MARAD as part of a new program to demonstrate innovative technologies and practices and share data on the results. President Obama has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment. Both projects reflect the maritime industry’s effort to reduce vessel air emissions and the use of LNG as an alternative fuel.