The US Maritime Administration (MARAD)—the US Division of Transportation company answerable for the US waterborne transportation system—launched a 16-month examine exploring low-carbon choices for transport on the Nice Lakes. The examine group, led by the Worldwide Council on Clear Transportation (ICCT) in partnership with the American Bureau of Transport (ABS) and the Convention of Nice Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP), will assess the suitability of different fuels and energy choices for Nice Lakes transport.

The bi-national Nice Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System is likely one of the largest business waterways within the nation and is important to strengthening the financial system, provide chain, and the creation of jobs. It extends greater than 2,000 miles and incorporates greater than 110 ports.

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The Nice Lakes/Seaway System is a 3,700 km “marine freeway” that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Nice Lakes. Greater than 200 million tonnes of cargo journey on the waterway on an annual foundation.

Over a interval of 16 months, researchers will assess different fuels and energy choices within the area and can develop an in depth profile of Nice Lakes fleets, ports, and fueling infrastructure.

MARAD’s biofuel initiative started in 2010 and has since then grown right into a multi-agency cooperative effort for testing of hydro-treated renewable biodiesels (HRD) on board MARAD-owned coaching ships and different vessels.

MARAD-sponsored initiatives have included testing of blended and neat fuels (unblended gas) in contrast with ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) as baseline gas on board coaching ships each underway and pier-side.

In 2014, MARAD started working with the Division of Vitality (DOE) to research marine functions of gas cells.