The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced Thursday that it is providing a total of $1.4 million for two projects the increased use of LNG as a marine fuel in the maritime industry.
MARAD says that the funds will be used to collect information on use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, as well as 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.”
For the first project, MARAD says it is giving Horizon Lines $900,000 to assist in the previously announced LNG conversion of the steam-powered containership, Horizon Spirit, and then measure the efficiency and air emissions of the new LNG dual fuel engines as the ship operates between Long Beach, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii.
The conversion, which as we reported earlier this year is likely to be carried out at a foreign shipyard, is anticipated to be completed by late-2015.
In addition to the Horizon Spirit conversion, MARAD says it is also spending $500,000 to fund an LNG study conducted by the U.S. subsidiary of Det Norske Veritas that will analyze the issues and challenges associated with LNG bunkering and the shore-based infrastructure needed to store and distribute the fuel. MARAD anticipates 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.”
MARAD says that the two recipients were chosen in a competitive process as part of a new program to demonstrate innovative technologies and practices and share data on the results.