As the famous song goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And natural gas is definitely making it big in the Big Apple.
New York City’s Department of Transportation is converting one of its Staten Island ferries to liquefied natural gas (LNG) from diesel, significantly reducing the boat’s fuel bill and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 25%.
The well-used Staten Island Ferry service shuttles 60,000 people to lower Manhattan every weekday. The boats make more than 100 trips a day during the workweek, and about 35,000 trips annually. Converting the Staten Island Ferry to LNG is a win-win-win: reducing dependence on imported oil, resulting in lower operating costs, and helping the environment.
With diesel costing the city about $1 per litre, it pays more than $150,000 a week to fill one ferry’s fuel tank. LNG is much more affordable, ranging between $0.06 and $0.11 for the equivalent of a litre. Retooling the vessel to operate under LNG power will save New York taxpayers nearly $3 million a year. (In other words, the $3 million retrofit will pay for itself within its first year.) Just imagine what they could save if they converted all eight of their ferries to natural gas?
So, what are your thoughts about switching diesel-burning engines to clean and affordable natural gas? How is this conversion being realized in your community? Let us know in the comments below.