Vessel owners and operators are looking to alternative fuel sources to help them reduce emissions, and the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over diesel or gasoline has potential financial and environmental benefits. Glosten studied converting the Washington State Ferries (WSF) 144-car ferry design to LNG propulsion to determine whether switching to natural gas would be feasible and cost effective.
To support the study, Glosten developed a preliminary design for both dual-fuel and single-fuel (LNG only) engines. The operational savings for a single vessel were significant, even with the initial capital cost of the engines. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reviewed the design and provided extensive feedback, showing their willingness to work with owners during design development while regulatory frameworks around new technologies are still being established.