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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Wärtsilä introducing portfolio of hybrid tug designs

September 18, 2017

The technology group Wärtsilä is introducing a new portfolio of tug designs, to be known as the Wärtsilä HYTug series, with the emphasis on environmental sustainability. Since they typically operate in or close to harbors and populated areas, tugs are particularly affected by environmental considerations, and the need for regulatory compliance is an increasing concern for tug owners and operators worldwide.

Wärtsilä has already introduced tug designs featuring liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel technology as an efficient means for complying with environmental legislation. These latest designs have been developed utilizing Wärtsilä’s strong competences in hybrid propulsion technology, along with the company’s extensive experience with more than 1,000 tugs built based on Wärtsilä’s ship designs.

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IHS Markit: 2020 low-sulfur requirements for marine bunker fuels causing scramble for refiners and shippers

August 28, 2017

On 27 October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced that beginning on 1 January 2020, the maximum sulfur content allowed in marine bunker fuel will be reduced from 3.50% mass by mass (m/m) to 0.50% m/m (35,000 ppm to 5,000 ppm)—five years earlier than many expected. (Earlier post.) The IMO fuel sulfur content regulation will have a significant global impact on both the refining and the shipping industries.

Owing to uncertainty around the implementation date and the ultimate level of compliance, neither the global refining nor shipping industries have as yet made the necessary investments to comply fully with the IMO rules. As a result, both industries will experience rapid change and significant cost and operational impacts, according to new analysis from IHS Markit.

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New German LNG-fueled research ship will feature Wärtsilä technology

August 05, 2017

Wärtsilä will supply dual-fuel engines for a new LNG-fueled research vessel being built for the German government. Wärtsilä will also supply exhaust cleaning systems based on selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology and the LNGPac system for complete fuel gas handling.

The SCR technology will be needed when the engines are running on conventional marine diesel fuel if the vessel exhausts its supply of LNG on long voyages. The vessel is under construction at the Fassmer shipyard in Germany and will be owned by Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH), the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. The contract was signed with Wärtsilä in June 2017.

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Project shows maritime fuel cell generator can increase energy efficiency by up to 30% at part load; reliability and cost issues

July 22, 2017

A recent project demonstrated a 100 kW fuel cell generator with 72 kg of hydrogen storage for marine applications. Project goals were to demonstrate the use of the generator in the maritime environment, identify areas requiring additional research and development, analyze the business case, and address regulatory and other market barriers.

A report authored by Sandia National Laboratories on the project found that the project showed that it is possible to increase energy efficiency by up to 30% at part load and reduce emissions to zero through the use of hydrogen fuel cells. (Although Sandia wrote the report, the project was performed by fourteen partner organizations.) The project also identified paths forward to wider adoption of the technology in this sector.

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San Pedro Bay Ports release draft of 2017 Clean Air Action Plan Update; $7-$14 billion price tag

July 21, 2017

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach released the draft of their proposed 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update. The document outlines a new set of aggressive near-term and long-term strategies for the nation’s busiest harbor complex to further reduce harmful air pollution from all port-related sources, assist the state in meeting aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals, and ultimately achieve zero emissions for trucks and terminal equipment.

A preliminary analysis estimates the cost of implementing the 2017 CAAP at $7 billion to $14 billion. Given the magnitude of the investment, the draft plan calls for the ports to intensify their funding advocacy and increase collaboration with their partners to finance the new strategies.

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Sandia researchers take study of hydrogen-powered passenger ferries to next level; optimizing design

July 14, 2017

In the San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions study, known as SF-BREEZE, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories concluded liquid hydrogen fuel cells are feasible on technical, regulatory and economic bases. (Earlier post.)

Now, Sandia researchers are taking the work to the next level in a second study that focuses on the optimal combination of vessel design, speed and passenger capacity, which, once determined, could reduce uncertainty in the industry; and the technical evidence to support new safety codes for hydrogen fuel-cell vessels. The work is funded by the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance program.

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RAMSSES project investigating use of lightweight materials in shipbuilding; 70m fiber-reinforced composite hull

July 01, 2017

A new EU-sponsored project—RAMSSES (Realization and Demonstration of Advanced Material Solutions for Sustainable and Efficient Ships)—seeks to bring sustainable construction principles such as lightweight construction and modern materials such as fiber-reinforced composites to shipbuilding. Up to now, freighters have been made exclusively from steel. RAMSSES includes 37 partners from 13 countries; the partners began working together this month.

Among the specific aims of the project is the production of a hull made out of fiber-reinforced composites and roughly 70 meters in length, which they will then test under real-life conditions on the high seas.

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Rolls-Royce and Svitzer demo world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel; testing autonomous operation

June 22, 2017

Rolls-Royce and global towage operator Svitzer have successfully demonstrated the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen harbour, Denmark.

Earlier this year, one of Svitzer’s tugs, the 28m Svitzer Hermod, safely conducted a number of remotely controlled maneuvers. From the quayside in Copenhagen harbour the vessel’s captain, stationed at the vessel’s remote base at Svitzer headquarters, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, undocked, turned 360°, and piloted it to the Svitzer HQ, before docking again. The companies have also signed an agreement to continue their cooperation to test remote and autonomous operations for vessels. The primary systems involved will be autonomous navigation, situational awareness, remote control centre and communication.

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California Energy Commission awards more than $36M to clean transportation projects

May 11, 2017

The California Energy Commission awarded more than $24 million in grants today for clean energy freight transportation projects in Los Angeles and Long Beach and more than $12 million for other clean transportation projects.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Long Beach Harbor Department received $10 million each and the Los Angeles Harbor Department received $4.5 million to conduct field demonstrations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and cargo handling equipment that have zero or near-zero emissions (GFO-16-604).

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Yara and Kongsberg partner to build world’s first autonomous electric container feeder ship; moving goods from roads to ships

May 10, 2017

Global fertilizer company Yara and technology group Kongsberg are parterning to build the first autonomous, electric container feeder ship. Container feeder ships collect shipping containers from different ports and transport them to central container terminals, at which they are loaded onto larger container ships or onto rail.

Named YARA Birkeland after Yara’s founder Kristian Birkeland, the vesselwill will reduce diesel-powered truck haulage by some 40,000 journeys a year, the partners estimate. Operation is planned to start in the latter half of 2018, shipping products from YARA’s Porsgrunn production plant to Brevik and Larvik in Norway. YARA Birkeland will initially operate as a manned vessel, moving to remote operation in 2019 and expected to be capable of performing fully autonomous operations from 2020.

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ICCT study examines current & projected use of heavy fuel oil in Arctic shipping; growth in BC emissions points to need for policies

May 08, 2017

A new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates heavy fuel oil (HFO) use, HFO carriage, the use and carriage of other fuels, black carbon (BC) emissions, and emissions of other air and climate pollutants for the year 2015, with projections to 2020 and 2025.

According to the report, potentially large increases in BC emissions may occur in the Arctic, further exacerbating warming, if ships are diverted from the Panama and Suez canals to take advantage of shorter routes to and from Asia, Europe, and North America. If even a small percentage (1%–2%) of large cargo vessels are diverted from the Panama and Suez Canals through the Arctic over the next decade, BC emissions could rise significantly—jumping up to 46% from 2015 to 2025.

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US Hybrid unveils new Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck for San Pedro Ports

May 03, 2017

US Hybrid has unveiled a zero-emission Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck featuring its PEM fuel cell system during the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. The truck, which will be operated by Total Transportation Solutions, Inc (TTSI), is one of two fuel cell demonstration tractors scheduled for delivery at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.)

The fuel cell tractor, a Navistar International ProStar day cab, features US Hybrid’s FCe80, 80 kW PEM fuel cell system and a 500 hp traction motor with 2,900 lb-ft of direct drive torque (3,750 N·m). It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds, an estimated driving range of 200 miles under normal drayage operation, and can be fully refueled in less than nine minutes.

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Kenworth developing hydrogen fuel cell, Near Zero NOx CNG series hybrid Class 8 prototypes for SoCal ports; CNG hybrids

Kenworth continues its advancements on low/zero emission projects focused on Kenworth T680 day cabs for drayage tractor operation in Southern California ports, which are backed by $9 million in government grants awarded last August.

Kenworth is developing a prototype Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell tractor, using the Ballard Power Systems fuel cell to recharge the battery pack. The hydrogen fuel cell series hybrid T680 day cab tractor uses lithium-ion batteries to power a dual-rotor electric motor, driving the rear tandem axle through a 4-speed automated transmission. Kenworth’s hydrogen truck is expected to be ready for initial track and on-road testing in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Ricardo collaborating with Toyota on Project Portal Class 8 fuel cell truck

May 02, 2017

Toyota’s Project Portal is designing a heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell system for class 8 truck use at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.) Ricardo provided technical assistance to the project, including areas of design, vehicle build, testing and development, and is currently supporting vehicle trials.

Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can serve a range of industries. It is a fully functional heavy-duty Class 8 truck with adequate power and torque capacity to conduct port drayage operations while emitting nothing but water vapor. Heavy duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the San Pedro Bay ports, and the Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.

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New MAN Diesel & Turbo ME-GIE two-stroke engine can use VOCs as fuel

March 11, 2017

The world’s first ME-GIE ethane-combusting two-stroke engine has been delivered from MAN Diesel & Turbo licensee Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) in Japan. The Mitsui-MAN B&W 7G50ME-C9.5-GIE is the first engine in a series of three.

Further research has led to new possibilities for this engine leading to new prospects for multi-fuel combustion including the combustion of waste gas. The benefits of the diesel-type combustion are now fully exploited in the ability of the two-stroke engine to run on almost any gas quality without efficiency reductions, and in the complete combustion maintained by a relatively high gas injection pressure.

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Norwegian Electric Systems to provide hybrid electric systems for three new ferries; Odin’s Eye DC grid system

February 09, 2017

Norwegian Electric Systems (NES) has signed a new contract with Havyard Ship Technology, Leirvik for the delivery of hybrid electric systems for three new ferries owned by Norway`s largest ferry company Fjord1. The ferries—with capacity for 50 cars and 199 persons—are designed by Multi Maritime. The first ferry is schedueled for delivery in May 2018.

All three ferries will be capable of all-electric operation with fast charging. Diesel engines, capable of pure biodiesel operation, will be installed as well, enabling hybrid and plug-in hybrid operation. The ferries have been designed with energy efficient hulls, equipment and systems.

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Honda establishes Marine Science Foundation

February 08, 2017

Inspired by the Japanese concept of sato-umi—the convergence of land and sea where human and marine life can harmoniously coexist—Honda has established the Honda Marine Science Foundation, a new initiative to address marine ecosystem restoration and the impact of humans and climate change on oceans and intertidal areas. Committed to marine conservation, the foundation will support science-based programs that improve and preserve coastal areas for future generations. Its first initiative is the Southern California Native Oyster Restoration Project.

The Southern California Native Oyster Restoration Project is being conducted in partnership with the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. The goals of the project include pioneering research to educate the public about the benefits of restoring native oysters for shoreline stabilization.

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New hybrid electric ferry launches in Taiwan with Visedo electric propulsion system

February 02, 2017

The Taiwanese harbor city of Kaohsiung has launched a new hybrid electric ferry. The Cijian Island passenger ferry is retrofitted with a Visedo electric propulsion system, replacing the original diesel engine. It heralds Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry and, if successful, the Kaohsiung City Government plans to retrofit the rest of its diesel fleet to help reduce pollution levels around Taiwan’s largest harbor.

Visedo OY, a leading Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains for marine vessels, commercial vehicles and heavy duty applications, worked alongside Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center (SOIC) to complete the retrofit.

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Viking Grace LNG ferry to install rotor sail; first LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship

January 26, 2017

Norsepower Oy Ltd., a provider of low- maintenance, software-operated, and data-verified auxiliary wind propulsion systems, signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the M/S Viking Grace, an LNG-fueled cruise ferry.

The 57,565 GT M/S Viking Grace currently operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is already one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries in the global maritime industry. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel burn and fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by around 900 tonnes annually; equivalent to cutting 300 tonnes of LNG fuel per year.

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Australia and Japan developing safety standards for marine transport of liquid hydrogen; KHI building carrier

January 16, 2017

Australia and Japan recently signed a memorandum at the headquarters of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which will allow liquid hydrogen (LH2) to be shipped in bulk for the first time. Ship containment systems are being developed in Japan that will be capable of safely transporting liquid hydrogen in bulk from Australia to Japan as part of a pilot project scheduled to commence in 2020.

Bulk gas cargoes are carried under the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code) which is a mandatory code under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. The IGC code does not currently allow for the transportation of liquid hydrogen.

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Scania leading full-scale autonomous truck platoon project in Singapore; 4-truck convoys

January 11, 2017

Scania will design the world’s first full-scale autonomous truck platooning operations, based on its own advanced technology. The platoon will traffic public roads while transporting containers between port terminals in Singapore. The aim is to organize convoys of four trucks—with the following three trucks behind the lead truck autonomously driven, as well as to fully automate the processes for precise docking and undocking of cargo.

The multi-year project is organized by the Ministry of Transport and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corporation). Toyota is also participating in this project.

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Finnish electric powertrain company Visedo raises €20M to support global expansion; SRPM technology

December 22, 2016

Visedo, a Finnish manufacturer specializing in electric powertrains and components, has secured a financing package of €20 million (US$21 million) to support its international growth plans. The financing consists of an equity investment of €13.5 million, an EFSI loan of €5 million and €1.5 million in funding from other sources.

Founded in 2009, Visedo specializes in electric powertrains and components for heavy-duty machinery, commercial vehicles and the marine industry. Its powertrains are suitable for hybrid and electric systems within the power range of 30 kW to 2,000 kW. Visedo’s head office is located in Lappeenranta, Finland, and the company has a subsidiary in the Netherlands. Visedo has a broad, international client base, with exports to Europe and Asia representing 90% of its sales.

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Study illustrates impact of ship emissions on Shanghai air quality

December 21, 2016

A multi-year quantitative study of the influence of ship emissions on urban air quality by a team from Fudan University found that ships could contribute 20–30% (2–7 μg/m3) of the total PM2.5 within tens of kilometers of coastal and riverside Shanghai during ship-plume-influenced periods. A paper on the study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

In the study, multiyear measurements and a high-resolution air-quality model with hourly ship emission inventory were combined to determine the influence of ship emissions on urban Shanghai. The aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) measurements were carried out at an urban site from April 2009 to January 2013.

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Study: growth in aviation and shipping GHG emissions will undo 43% of savings from rest of transport in Europe through 2030

December 12, 2016

Growth in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping and aviation, based on demand for liquid fossil fuels, will undo nearly half (43%) of the

savings expected to be made by the rest of transport in Europe through to 2030, according to a new study by consultant CE Delft, commissioned by environmental NGO Transport & Environment.

Under measures already in place, land transport is expected to consume 43 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) less energy per year in 2030 than it did in 2010, according to calculations on the European Commission’s projections for greenhouse gas emissions to 2050 by consultant CE Delft. Even this 43 Mtoe cut is less than half of what will be required from land transport under the EU’s proposed 2030 Effort Sharing Regulation.

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Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre partner to develop remote and autonomous ships

November 14, 2016

Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd have formed a strategic partnership to design, to test and to validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships. The new partnership will combine and integrate the two companies’ unique expertise to make such vessels a commercial reality. (Earlier post.)

Rolls-Royce is pioneering the development of remote-controlled and autonomous ships and believes a remote-controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade. The company is applying technology, skills and experience from across its businesses to this development.

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Maersk Line, Ports of LA & Long Beach in 3-year project to measure air pollution benefits from $125M eco-upgrade; real-time tracking 24x7

November 10, 2016

Shipping company Maersk Line and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are partnering to measure the environmental benefits of a $125-million upgrade for 12 Maersk container ships. This will involve the installation of high-tech equipment to track vessel emissions and energy efficiency over the next three years, enabling more transparency and ultimately reducing the environmental impact of vessels calling at the San Pedro Bay port complex.

The two ports are contributing a combined $1 million to real-time tracking systems that represent an industry leading application to pinpoint vessel emissions while ships are at sea and at berth. Unprecedented in its scope and scale, the three-year data collection and analysis project, called “The Connected Vessel Programme”, builds on the $125 million Maersk Line has invested in its “radical retrofit” program to reduce fuel consumption and increase the capacity of the vessels that regularly call at the San Pedro Bay ports.

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MAN Diesel & Turbo wins first order for HyProp ECO hybrid propulsion system

November 05, 2016

MAN Diesel & Turbo has won the order for a complete propulsion package for a chemical tanker. As a world-first, the package features a full HyProp ECO system with PTO/PTH (Power Take Off/Power Take Home); HyProp ECO is a hybrid propulsion system.

The system will be employed aboard a 7,500-dwt stainless-steel chemical tanker ordered and operated by IÇDAŞ Çelik Enerji Tersane Ve Ulaşim Sanayi AŞ in Turkey. The propulsion package also features a MAN 6L32/44CR common-rail main engine, a MAN Alpha Kappel propeller and a MAN SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system capable of operating on MGO (marine gas oil), MDO (marine diesel oil) and HFO (heavy fuel oil). A delivery date for the newbuilding has been scheduled for September 2017.

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IMO sets 2020 date for ships to comply with low sulfur fuel oil requirement; 5000 ppm

October 29, 2016

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the regulatory authority for international shipping, decided to implement a global sulfur cap of 0.50% m/m (mass/mass) (5,000 ppm) on fuel oil starting 1 January 2020 during its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), meeting for its 70th session in London.

The cap represents a significant cut from the 3.5% m/m (35,000 ppm) global limit currently in place and demonstrates a clear commitment by IMO to ensuring shipping meets its environmental obligations.

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New Icon-class ships from Royal Caribbean to be powered by LNG with 2022 delivery; testing hydrogen fuel cells in 2017

October 11, 2016

The newest class of ships from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and likely will introduce the use of fuel cell technology, ushering in a new era of shipbuilding that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The ships will join the fleet of Royal Caribbean International.

RCL has signed a memorandum of understanding with Finland shipbuilder Meyer Turku for the new class of vessel under the project name “Icon.” The around 200,000 gross ton large cruise ships will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024. In the meantime, the company said, it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum class vessels being built in the next several years.

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Sandia study finds high-speed hydrogen-powered ferry and supporting infrastructure in SF Bay feasible

October 06, 2016

A study by two researchers at Sandia National Laboratories has concluded that building and operating a high-speed passenger ferry solely powered by hydrogen fuel cells within the context of the San Francisco Bay is technically feasible, with full regulatory acceptance as well as the requisite associated hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

Funded by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration and led by Sandia, the feasibility study of the SF-Breeze (San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions) brought together the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the US Coast Guard, naval architect Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), the Port of San Francisco and dozens of other contributors.

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Volkswagen Group opts for LNG-fueled car carriers

From 2019, Volkswagen Group Logistics will use two LNG-powered charter vessels from Siem Car Carriers AS, making it one of the first automakers to opt for low-emission LNG-powered vessels for the marine transport of vehicles. The two ships, with a length of 200 m and a capacity of about 4,500 vehicles, are to be used for vehicle shipment between Europe and North America. The use of LNG-powered roll on/roll off (RORO) car carriers on other routes is currently being considered.

Alternative LNG drive systems for ships reduce air pollutant emissions significantly—CO2 by up to 25% and NOx by up to 30%, particulate matter by up to 60% and SOx by as much as 100%. Emissions will be further reduced by the use of an advanced dual-fuel marine engine with direct injection and exhaust gas treatment.

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EPA releases national assessment of strategies to reduce air pollution at ports

September 23, 2016

A new report from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finds that air pollution at US ports can be reduced significantly at all port types and sizes through a variety of strategies and cleaner technologies. Implementing these approaches, the report finds, would reduce greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions from diesel-powered ships, trucks and other port equipment.

“The National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at US Ports” examines current and future emission trends from diesel engines in port areas, and explores the emissions reduction potential of strategies like replacing and repowering older, dirtier vehicles and engines and deploying zero emissions technologies.

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