Alternative Fuel Bunkering Survey Summary
- Summary by: Isaac Nahmias and Sanjana Patel
As the American and worldwide maritime industries seek to mitigate emissions and increase the energy efficiency of water borne transportation, port authorities and terminal operators face the decision of which fuels to bunker to vessels and provide to land-side equipment. There are several alternative fuels being used and considered by the maritime industry, and all offer respective advantages. The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has conducted a survey to gauge the industry’s current offerings and plans for future alternative fuels at ports. AAPA received responses from 36 US port authorities, one marine terminal operator (MTO), and two international port authorities. Four port authorities currently offer liquified natural gas (LNG) and one offers biodiesel. Seven port authorities are planning to offer LNG, three ammonia, one hydrogen, one methanol, and one biodiesel. Eight port authorities are either currently or plan to bunker container ships, eight port authorities bunker bulk ships, seven harbor craft, five tankers, four cruise ships, and one breakbulk. Delivery methods of fuel vary across ports, with ten opting for barge, six for pipeline, five for truck, two for rail, and two for ship-to-ship. Regarding alternative fuels in land-side equipment, ten currently use propane, four LNG, three renewable diesel, two biofuel, and two hydrogen. Going forward, 17 port authorities plan to provide alternative fuels for land-side equipment including electricity, hydrogen, renewable diesel, compressed natural gas, and LNG. These port authorities plan on delivering these fuels to land-side vehicles via truck, pipeline, rail, and propane tank. By embracing alternative fuels, seaports are on the cutting edge of a new industry that will strengthen America’s position on the global scale and make bold steps toward sustainability goals.