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Maersk and Navy Test Algae Fuel on Container Ship 2

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Maersk Line biofuel engineer, Bart Frehse

Maersk Line biofuel engineer, Bart Frehse (l), and David Andersen, lead engineer on the Kalmar biofuel project, check that the container ship’s engine is running smoothly.

Maersk and Navy Test Algae Fuel on Container Ship

December 18, 2011

Maersk Line’s 300-meter long Maersk Kalmar container vessel is sailing its normal route from Bremerhaven, Germany to Pipavav, India, delivering cargo to the usual ports along the way. However, during its one-month-long, 6,500 nautical mile voyage, Kalmar will be doing something for the first time—burning 30 tons of fuel derived from algae.

A team of engineers from Maersk Line, Limited, Maersk Maritime Technology and Maersk Line are onboard the Maersk Kalmar running the project. They are testing blends of the fuel—which is clear, not green—ranging from 7 percent algae fuel up to 100 percent in one of the ship’s auxiliary engines.

While the Maersk Kalmar isn’t actually sailing under algae power yet, (the energy currently produced only powers the ship’s electronics) if all goes as planned, the main engine will also eventually run on algae fuel.

Maersk Kalmar has two key attributes that make it a suitable vessel for biofuel testing. The 300 meter-long containership has a dedicated auxiliary test engine, which reduces the risks of testing, and its fuels system has special biofuel blending equipment and separate tanks.

“The properties of this fuel are similar to marine gas oil, so if we can successfully run the auxiliary engine on this fuel for long periods of time as we suspect, we will also be able to use it safely in the main engine as well,” says Klaus Jørgensen, engineer in Maersk Maritime Technology.

In October 2010, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Maersk headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark and learned of energy conservation initiatives across Maersk’s fleet of over 1,300 vessels. These programs fit well with the Navy’s interests in increasing fuel efficiency and reducing emissions.

This biofuels test is the first collaboration between Maersk and the U.S. Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). The test brings together several companies across the A.P. Moller—Maersk Group: Maersk Line, the world’s largest commercial container carrier; Maersk Maritime Technology, a research and development center of excellence for ship technologies; and Maersk Line, Limited, which owns and operates U.S. flag vessels and has worked with the U.S. Navy for nearly 30 years.

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Mon December 19 2011 05:12:36 PM by Tomcatino 1828 views
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