Federal grant to cut ferry operating costs

Mar 26, 2013

INTRO – A Federal Highway Administration grant is expected to deliver big savings to the state’s ferry fleet. George Olsen has more.

The Federal Highway Administration has awarded a $950,000 grant to the state Ferry Division to upgrade the existing propulsion engines on its seven 150-foot Hatteras Class ferries. The 20-year-old eight-cylinder diesel engines will be replaced with 470-horsepower six-cylinder diesel engines which the ferry division believes will result in fuel savings of 10-to-15 percent because of lower vessel weight. It also expects an overall cost savings of about 20 percent compared to current operating expenses. The new engines can be monitored remotely to track performance and fuel consumption. A press release from the Ferry Division says the engine replacements will take place in the fall after the summer tourist season. I’m George Olsen.