Crowley Works to Clear the Air in the Puerto Rico/Caribbean Trade
09/11/2007 08:30 am
Reduced Emissions and Increased Fuel Efficiency Go Hand-in-Hand
(Jacksonville, Fla.; Sept. 11, 2007) – Crowley Maritime Corporation has traditionally been known for its cutting-edge technology in the maritime trade, dedication to safety and the environment, and desire to provide ever-increasing value and service to its customers. Now, in an age of increased environmental awareness, new commitments to reducing emissions and pollution in the air have Crowley investing in engine modifications on its 10 tugboats dedicated to the Puerto Rico/Caribbean liner service and on its four tugs chartered to Trailer Bridge for their Puerto Rico barge service.
Crowley makes four to five trips per week between the United States and Puerto Rico, which provide ample opportunity to test and perfect engine modifications which have led to lower exhaust emissions and increased performance. Exhaust emissions take on a number of forms including visible smoke, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Crowley is working to reducing all three while achieving heightened performance with decreased fuel consumption.
"We are always looking for more efficient and cleaner ways to run our engines," said Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico/Caribbean services. "We have an extremely talented engineering department that has a genuine interest in maintaining our high performance standards, while optimizing equipment for environmental preservation."
Engineering Upgrades Key
Through a series of engineering upgrades, Crowley has partnered with General Electric, Rolls Royce, Marine Systems and Interstate Diesel to reduce exhaust, cut engine lubricating oil consumption and save fuel.
In addition to using low sulfur diesel fuel, Crowley has installed ECOTIP fuel injectors in all of the tugs in its Puerto Rico service, which has helped reduce fuel consumption and the amount of particulate matter by 44 percent. Additionally, the clarity, or opacity of stack emissions has improved by 75 percent.
Also contributing to improved fuel efficiency, cleaner burning engines and reduced stack emissions are new fiberglass air filters with a pleated paper design. These filters provide less restriction of airflow into the engine and better air cleaning prior to entering the tugs turbocharger thereby maintaining efficiency.
Additionally, the tugs have special four-pass aftercoolers instead of traditional two-pass coolers, ensuring that the air temperature is lowered and density is increased as the air enters the engine. The cooler, denser air flowing into the engine allows for more complete combustion and increased fuel efficiency while maximizing the engines power. Vent modifications and stronger vent fans in the engine room keep the air pressure up and the temperature down. The further cooling of this ambient air temperature again increases efficiency and reduces fuel consumption and stack emissions.
New extended life, emissions-reducing power packs have been installed for testing purposes in some of the tugs in the fleet. Also proving their worth are custom designed piston rings, which require less oil for operation.
The final piece of Crowley's move towards more efficient, environmentally friendly tugs is the development and installation of new generation Rolls Royce propellers. The new generation work wheels provide state of the art hydrodynamic design, which significantly improves cavitation, performance and overall efficiency. The combination of these different modifications have all worked together to decrease oil and fuel consumption while not compromising efficiency and speed, thus allowing Crowley to maintain the service schedule and sailing frequency to which the people of Puerto Rico have become accustomed.
A Commitment to Reduce Fuel Consumption and Lower Emissions on Land Too
On land, to minimize emissions in its trucking operations, Crowley has joined SmartWay Transport Partnership. This voluntary program, which is affiliated with the US Environmental Protection Agency, addresses energy efficiency in the transportation industry. Crowley has committed to develop strategies that will reduce idle time and improve miles per gallon in its trucking operation and in its trucking partnerships.
Building on a History of Environmental Stewardship
Crowley has a long history of environmental protection. A Crowley Safety in Towing Handbook published in 1970, twenty years before the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, contains operational procedures to prevent spills that many years later became law. This early interest in keeping our harbors and oceans clean has developed into a strong company culture of environmental stewardship.
Recent examples are Crowley's certification to the international standard ISO 14001 Environmental Management System; certification of the 650-3, a new 185,000-barrel petroleum barge, by Lloyds Register Group under its Green Passport program; and special recognition by several prestigious government organizations of Crowley's environmental stewardship including the U.S. Coast Guards William Benkert award for environmental excellence, Washington Department of Ecology Exceptional Compliance Program, and the Pacific States / British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force Legacy Award.
"The proof of environmental stewardship is walking the talk and this is clearly demonstrated by an enforced environmental policy, use of green chemicals and materials in the workplace, annual environmental goals and targets, fuel efficient vessel operations and new vessel designs that reduce environmental impacts and provide redundant systems to prevent pollution," said Charlie Nalen, Crowley's vice president, environmental safety and quality assurance.
While past efforts are historical evidence of the companys commitment to the environment, its environmental stewardship is ongoing and growing. The company continues to invest in new equipment and methods of operation that will ensure that Crowley operates in a way that respects and preserves the very diverse and complex environments in which it does business.
Crowley and its predecessor company have been serving the Puerto Rico market since 1954, longer than any other carrier in the trade. The company, with nearly 300 Puerto Rico employees, is also the No. 1 ocean carrier between the island commonwealth and the U.S. mainland with more weekly sailings and more cargo carried annually than any other shipping line.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in San Francisco in 1892, is a privately held family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of five operating lines of business: Liner Services; Logistics Services; Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Other services provided within these business lines include contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response; vessel management, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.
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