U.S.'s First Tri-Fuel Vessels Feature Battery, Diesel and LNG Power

US's first tri-powered vessel with battery power retrofit
PSV Harvey Energy was fitted with battery power in addition to its diesel and LNG fuel capabilities

Published Sep 2, 2020 7:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

The United States's first commercial tri-fuel powered vessel is being introduced with the addition of battery power to an existing vessel. Fourteen months after announcing that it had retained ABS to class the conversion of two of its PSV vessels to operate on battery power, as well as their existing LNG and diesel fuel systems, Harvey Gulf International Marine has completed the first conversion.

In June 2019, Harvey Gulf announced plans to install a battery-power system on two of the company’s PSV vessels. Built in 2003, each of the 1,739 gross ton vessels is 240 feet long with a cruising speed of 10 knots. The company recently completed the conversion of the PSV Harvey Energy and will also complete the installation of a GE battery-power system on the PSV Harvey Champion in September. The battery capacity aboard the two vessels will be enough to sail in and out of harbor on electric power with fewer engines running, while also supplementing hotel load electricity when docked, reducing noise and pollution levels in the harbor.

According to ABS’s announcement when the class approval was commencing, the installation of a 1,450 kW battery hybrid package was expected to reduce the vessels' exhaust emissions, fuel consumption, and noise levels. The overall fuel cost savings were expected to be in the range of 10 to 20 percent. The ability to operate on battery power will also add redundancy during dynamic positioning (DP) operations at offshore platforms.

“While I’ve delivered some of the most complicated alternative fuel technology to the market in many different ways, it is my clients and investors who have driven these decisions,” said Shane Guidry CEO of Harvey Gulf. “I was able to hear the calling from my clients and investors as to what their future wants and needs would be.” 

At the same time, Harvey also commenced operations at its new diesel bunkering facility in Port Fourchon, LA, pairing it with Harvey’s LNG bunkering operations to sell both diesel fuel and LNG from the facility. The company highlighted some of its other green operations including the first U.S. Flagged dual fuel Platform Supply Vessels, the first LNG vessel bunkering facility, the first LNG-ATB bunkering vessel, and, now, the first “Tri-Fuel” Platform Supply Vessel.

Harvey’s addition of battery power to the PSV vessels mirrors several similar international efforts. In 2019, internationally other orders for battery hybrid LNG systems included the propulsion packages for two new PCTCs for UECC, four ro/pax ferries for TT-Line, and two ro/ro ferries for Seaspan.