DNV helping Washington look at LNG for ferries

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Norwegian-based classification society Det Norske Veritias reported this week that it is assisting Washington State Ferries (WSF) in exploring the possibility of switching to LNG as a fuel.

WSF has the largest ferry fleet in the U.S. and the third largest in the world. WSF operates 23 ferries and carries roughly 23 million passengers a year. Along the way, they burn roughly 17 million gals. of ultra-low-sulfer diesel each year. (Read all about ferry operators and LNG in Bruce Buls’ report in the February 2013 issue of WorkBoat.)

“It’s our fastest growing operating expense,” Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) assistant secretary David Moseley said in a statement. “LNG has the potential to significantly reduce emissions and the cost of fuel … 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.”

Kenneth Vareide, director of DNV’s maritime operations in North America said in a statement, “LNG as a fuel is a promising, but new technology. To ensure that the safety, security and operational challenges of such a move is handled in a responsible manner, Washington State Ferries has partnered with DNV, a risk management company with extensive experience of LNG fuelled ships and the infrastructure they demand … 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 fuelled 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.”

DNV says it has taken the leading role in making the use of LNG safe and affordable. According to DNV, 35 out of 37 LNG-fueled vessels in the world have been built to DNV’s standards. Of these, 16 are car/passenger ferries.

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