MARAD Pushes On with Eco Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has set aside over USD 1.2 million to support the development of two new emission-reducing maritime solutions – a liquefied natural gas (LNG) conversion demonstration project, and a modification of an on-board air pollution control device.

Through a cooperative agreement, MARAD has provided USD 730,000 to Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) to convert a towboat engine from diesel to LNG. Results from this demonstration project are expected to help expand the development and availability of natural gas conversion technology for smaller scale tug, tow, and harbor vessels. PRCC will collect air emissions data before and after the conversion, which will allow for operational and emissions comparisons.

A separate cooperative agreement will provide Interlake Steamship Company (Interlake) of Ohio USD 500,000 to retrofit the M/V Lee Tregurtha, which operates on the Great Lakes, with exhaust gas-scrubber technology. This modification should reduce sulfur emissions and meet or exceed North American Emissions Control Area requirements for the 800-foot, bulk-cargo vessel. Interlake will provide MARAD with pre- and post-installation air emissions data, and lessons learned on scrubber installation and operation.

“These investments accelerate the growth of alternative fuel and environmental technologies throughout the United States’ maritime industry. These projects will yield data that will support future commercial investment decisions and will provide lasting benefits for our nation while helping us reduce the industry’s environmental footprint,” said Maritime Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen.

“This is how government can work to encourage technology advancement and environmental stewardship.”

These demonstration projects are part of ongoing work by MARAD’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program (META) and the maritime industry to conduct research and demonstration projects in support of identifying alternative fuels and technologies for marine applications.