$730,000 to Retrofit Ohio River Vessel with Fumigation System,
Pittsburgh Clean Cities to Collect Before-and-After Emissions Data
The federal Maritime Administration is anteing $730,000 toward the “cutting edge” conversion of an Ohio River towboat to liquefied natural gas operation. MARAD is providing the money for the two-year program via PRCC, the Department of Energy-affiliated Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities organization.
“Results from this demonstration project will help expand the development and availability of natural gas conversion technology for smaller scale tug, tow, and harbor vessels,” MARAD says. “PRCC will collect air emissions data before and after the conversion, which will allow for operational and emissions comparisons.”
On the job in Pittsburgh…
“This public-private venture will produce the data required to further develop even cleaner and more sustainable maritime transportation options,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says in MARAD’s announcement.
Technology Suitable for Older Vessels
“The idea is to demonstrate a retrofit technology,” says a source close to the project. “Boats last a long time,” he told HHP Insight. “You have to find a way to modify currently existing vessels.”
The partners will use a fumigation system, he says, with natural gas injected via the engine’s air intake.
Scrubbers for Interlake’s Lee A. Tregurtha
Via a separate cooperative agreement, MARAD is to provide $500,000 to Cleveland-based Interlake Steamship Company to retrofit the Lee A. Tregurtha, which operates on the Great Lakes, with exhaust gas-scrubber technology.
“This modification will significantly reduce sulfur emissions and meet or exceed North American Emissions Control Area requirements for the 800-foot, bulk-cargo vessel,” the agency says. Interlake will provide MARAD with pre- and post-installation air emissions data, “and lessons learned on scrubber installation and operation.”
Commercial Investment Foreseen
“These investments accelerate the growth of alternative fuel and environmental technologies throughout the United States’ maritime industry,” Maritime Administrator Paul ‘Chip’ Jaenichen says in the agency release.
“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,” he said.
These two projects are part of MARAD’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program. The META program is administered by the Maritime Administration’s Office of Environment. It “is designed to foster collaboration with maritime stakeholders to address emerging environmental challenges.”
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Source: Maritime Administration with HHP Insight follow-up