The U.S. Maritime Administration said Thursday it will spend $1.4 million on two projects looking at use of liquefied natural gas as a fuel for marine propulsion.
In the first project, MarAd will provide Horizon Lines,
Inc., with $900,000 to assist in conversion of Horizon Spirit
to operate on LNG and the monitoring of its performance.
"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," MarAd said.
, a 1980-built 2,172-TEU containership, operates between Long Beach,
Calif., 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.
Horizon's competitors Matson and Sea Star have all announced plans to build new ships that can burn LNG or liquid fuel. Competitor Totem Ocean Trailer Express plans to convert engines that can use LNG as fuel.
In June, Horizon announced plans to convert the power plants on two of its steam turbine cargo vessels to modern diesel engines capable of burning conventional liquid fuels or LNG, saying it was "the first step in a repowering initiative for Horizon Lines vessels serving in the Hawaii and Puerto Rico trade lanes.”
MarAd said "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."