Horizon-lines-c-jaxport-flickrHorizon Lines, Inc. (OTCQB: HRZL) officially announced plans to convert the power plants on two of its steam turbine cargo vessels to dual fuel engines capable of burning conventional liquid fuels or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“We are viewing this as the first step in a repowering initiative for Horizon Lines vessels serving in the Hawaii and Puerto Rico trade lanes,” said Sam Woodward, President and Chief Executive Officer.  “The two initial steam vessels targeted for the planned repowering are structurally viable for the conversion from steam-powered to dual diesel/LNG engines.  Additionally, our repowering project has the support of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).  We plan to work closely with the ABS and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) throughout the life of the project.”

The project’s goal is to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions. It includes an integrated repowering solution encompassing main engines, supporting components, and LNG storage tanks, and has attracted interest from both domestic and foreign shipyards.  Six request-for-pricings (RFPs) have been issued to U.S. shipyards and six have been issued to foreign shipyards, according to Horizon Lines.  The company has not decided where the repowering work would be conducted at this time, pending receipt and evaluation of the RFPs.

gCaptain reported previously that Horizon Lines requested a predetermination ruling from the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center on coastwise eligibility in order to determine if the company could consider foreign options in addition to U.S. shipyards for the project.  The USCG ruled that the work as described can take place in a foreign shipyard without jeopardizing the Jones Act status of the vessels.

In a statement on their website, Horizon Lines expects to receive the completed RFPs in mid-July and to commence work on the first vessel by January 2015.  Work completion is planned for the end of 2015 or in early 2016.

Although Horizon Lines does not have a contract with any particular engine manufacturer for the repower, they have engaged MAN Diesel & Turbo SE to conduct preliminary engineering, consulting and design work.

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