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ABS REPORTS ON DECARBONISING US INLAND SHIPPING

ABS REPORTS ON DECARBONISING US INLAND SHIPPING

Thursday, September 9, 2021 

ABS, together with Vanderbilt University, have published a new report analysing decarbonisation strategies for US inland waterways.

Decarbonization of the Inland Waterway Sector in the United States evaluates the potential for possible future propulsion technologies and alternative fuels to reduce carbon emissions. The report demonstrates the feasibility of near-term electrification of smaller vessels operating on the inland river system with a case study and renderings of a weighted and balanced boat retrofitted with electrical propulsion.

Christopher J Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of decarbonization efforts globally as well as regionally in the US. This collaborative study with one of the country’s leading universities evaluates the fuel and technology options and approaches that will help drive decarbonisation of the US inland waterways and support a safer and more sustainable fleet.”

“While the GHG profile of the inland waterways is low compared to other shipping sectors the need to decarbonise operations is growing more pressing all the time. The sector faces unique challenges and limitations and will require a bespoke emissions approach, which is analysed in this study with Vanderbilt University. While electrification clearly offers smaller inland river vessels swift CO2 gains, the report also explores the wider decarbonisation landscape that will need to be navigated to put this sector on a sustainable footing,” said Georgios Plevrakis, ABS Director Global Sustainability.

At Vanderbilt, the work was a collaboration between the Vanderbilt Center for Transportation and Operational Resiliency and the Vanderbilt Climate Change Initiative (VCCI).

VCCI Director Leah Dundon said: “We are excited about some of the possibilities and pathways identified in this report. For example, we are hopeful that a pilot project based on river fleet boat electrification can be accomplished in the near term, which would inform scalability potential and cost, as well as further research needs. These types of grand challenges can’t be undertaken alone—they require input and insight from a broad range of skill sets and expertise, so Vanderbilt was extremely pleased to collaborate with ABS on this project.”

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