The U.S. Navy says it is seeking 37 million gallons of drop-in biofuels in what the Department of the Navy describes as a major step in its efforts to reduce its reliance on petroleum.
The biofuels sought can be blended in a range of 10 to 50 percent with conventional petroleum products and will need to meet all military fuel specifications in a way that will make handling requirements and performance indiscernible to the end user.
Currently, two biofuels pathways have been tested and qualified for use in Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, ships, vehicles and equipment and efforts are underway to adopt more pathways.
The Navy says it is seeking the biofuel as part of its F-76 marine diesel and JP-5 shipboard jet fuel supply in a recent Inland/East/Gulf Coast bulk fuels solicitation. The Inland/East/Gulf Coast is the single largest bulk fuels acquisition program, and is valued in excess of $3.5 billion.
The bulk fuels solicitation was released by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy on June 9. Bids are due by July 9, and deliveries of fuel will start April 1, 2015.
DLA will purchase the biofuel blends only if they are cost competitive with their conventionally-derived counterparts. $27.2 million in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds, capped at 71 cents or less per neat biofuel gallon, are available to defray any additional costs that may exist for fuels derived from domestic feedstocks on a USDA-approved list.
The Navy says that expanding military energy sources improves the reliability of our overall fuel supply, adds resilience against supply disruptions, and gives the military more fuel options to maintain its readiness and defend the national security interests of the United States.