McAllister Addresses SNAME Conference On Energy Conservation

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Some 300 persons attended the recent Shipboard Energy Conservation International Symposium in New York sponsored by The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. At the two-day conference, p r o m i n e n t speakers from government and industry discussed the current thinking and practical approaches to finding the best solutions for selecting the most cost-effective methods of energy conservation in operating ships.

Speaking at the first day's luncheon session, Bruce A. McAllister, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Maritime Affairs, outlined some of the steps taken by the Maritime Administration in the area of shipboard fuel conservation.

Although only nine of the 54 deep-draft vessels recently under contract at U.S. shipyards will be powered by steam plants, Mr.

McAllister noted that "over 90 percent of our present fleet is comprised of steam-turbine-propelled vessels, a substantial number of which are less than 10 years of age. We must explore every cost-effective possibility to maximize their fuel efficiencies. "Ship operators in their decisions to undertake new construction must bear in mind the probability of further degradation of the quality of marine residual fuels. In selecting the propulsion systems for vessels with economic lives of 20-25 years, they cannot just assess near-term factors. In particular, they must consider the abilities of internal combustion engines and boilers to burn the types of least costly fuels that may be available five or 10 years from now," Mr. McAllister said. During the past three years MarAd has obligated $4.5 million in research projects to promote the development of more efficient steam plants. One project currently under way involves the design of an improved marine burner that has the promise of burning slurry type fuels efficiently. MarAd r e c e n t l y awarded a $500,000 contract for at-sea testing of a coal and oil slurry fuel. This project has the potential of reducing boiler fuel costs by 10-15 percent. And by the end of this year, an additional $400,000 contract will be awarded dealing with the development of a direct coalfired steam plant.

"The industry is well aware that it is the marine design and engineering profession upon which they must rely, as it has so many times in the past, to come up with the technological advancements for any substantial improvement of our energy cost problems," Mr. McAllister concluded.

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