The Maritime Administration (Marad) has announced a $450,000 grant to AEP Rivers Operations of St. Louis, Mo., to modify the tug Christopher Parsonage, into a fuel-efficient hybrid vessel that conserves fuel and reduces harmful vessel emissions.

The modification will provide the180' tugboat, which operates along the lower Mississippi River, with a hybrid generator set attached to the main engine that will provide auxiliary power, which would normally be produced from the diesel generator. Marad will use the test results from this project to support further work related to vessel air emissions, energy conservation and efficiency. The study is expected to be completed by 2017.