Two Canadian passenger/auto ferries, M.V.'s "KLATAWA" and "KULLEET" have been operating in the Vancouver, Canada area since 1985. These two ferries have successfully operated sixteen hours daily, nonstop, 165 days a year. The ferries are double ended, 155 ft. in length and are propelled by two 300-hp 3406B Caterpillar diesel engines converted to dual fuel natural gas.
M.V. Accolade II, operating in Adelaide, Australia since the early 1980s, is a self-loading limestone carrier 108.63 meters in length. Propulsion is provided by two 6-cylinder Fuji LG32X dual fuel engines developing 1,650 BHP each on CNG. The Accolade is the oldest non-LNG carrier natural gas powered marine vessel, and is still in operation.
LNG Carrier, M.V. Venator, operating in the Western Pacific area, unlike other carriers that use natural gas powered steam turbines, utilizes a reciprocating natural gas engine. This engine is a specifically adapted version of the Sulzer 7 RNE90 2-stroke design.
The ferryboat, M.V. Virginia was built by Tidewater Regional Transient Ferry (TRT). The ferry is currently in operation and is powered by a CNG system using a Caterpillar 300-hp. spark ignited engine. The vessel was built for improved air quality impacting both land and water.
A Norwegian LNG powered ferry, designed by MARINTEK, began operation in February 2000. The 100-car/passenger ferry with four Mitsubishi 500kW natural gas engines is 94.8 meters in length and uses electric drive.
One of the four Caterpillar D399 gensets on the electric drive M.V. Kings Pointer, the USA Merchant Marine training vessel, is being converted to dual fuel CNG power as an R&D project in conjunction with the US Maritime Administration (MARAD), the US Coast Guard and other agencies.
Other natural gas powered ferry projects are currently being developed in New York City and British Columbia, Canada.
Two other applications highlight benefits of natural gas operation. For many years, the submarine and jungle rides at Disneyland have been powered by natural gas. The engines are cleaner and their emissions do not foul the water with an oily film or kill nearby plants, as other fuels have done. In San Antonio, Texas, the party barges that carry over one million tourists per year along the San Antonio Riverwalk operate on natural gas, reducing both noise and air pollution. No major problems have been experienced with the vessels and the tourists' experience has been enhanced.
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