Environmental Protection

Washington State Ferries May Switch to LNG

Fueling vessels with LNG reduces emissions, offering an almost 100 percent reduction in particulate matter and sulfur oxides, at least an 80 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide, and about a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide.

Washington State Ferries is considering fueling its vessels with LNG and has partnered with DNV, which has experience with LNG-fueled ships and the infrastructure they demand. DNV announced the partnership Feb. 5.

Fueling vessels with LNG reduces emissions, offering an almost 100 percent reduction in particulate matter and sulfur oxides, at least an 80 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide, and about a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide, according to the announcement. It says DNV has taken the leading role in making LNG as a fuel safe and viable, with 35 of 37 LNG-fueled vessels in the world having been built to DNV's standards. Sixteen of them are car/passenger ferries.

"As the biggest ferry operator in the U.S. and the third biggest in the world, WSF can really lead the way for its industry. In DNV, we can now clearly see a tipping point when it comes to global interest in LNG fueled ships. Knowing that LNG as a fuel helps reduce emissions and costs, our team of researchers, engineers, and business analysts are looking forward to assist WSF and other companies with managing risks related to their LNG operations," said Kenneth Vareide, director of DNV's maritime operations in North America.

"I am pleased to have DNV aboard to assist Washington State Ferries in this important look at liquefied natural gas a possible fuel for the fleet and look forward to these next steps that WSF will take with DNV," said Washington State Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary David Moseley. "WSF burns more than 17 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel each year, and it's our fastest-growing operating expense. LNG has the potential to significantly reduce emissions and the cost of fuel."

WSF's ferry fleet has 23 vessels, 10 routes, and 20 terminals. They transport 10 million vehicles and more than 22 million people annually.

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