U.S. Senator Tom Carper Affirms Federal Grant Support for Ferry Repower Project; Tours MV Delaware Engine Room
LEWES, Del. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), joined with Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) Chief Operations Officer Vince Meconi and Director of Ferry Operations Heath Gehrke to celebrate two federal grants for the Cape May – Lewes Ferry engine repowering program. In December, 2014, the DRBA received a $975,000 Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace the engines on the MV Delaware. In April 2016, Federal Transit Administration awarded the bi-state agency an additional $6 million grant to retrofit the engines on the MV New Jersey and the MV Cape Henlopen.
In May, the MV Delaware returned to active service with new engines following a five month repowering at Caddell’s Drydock and Repair Company in Staten Island, New York. This initial repowering project was aided by the EPA’s $975,000 grant. With the new engines, the Cape May – Lewes Ferry saves approximately $130,000 per year vessel in maintenance costs. The new, clean diesel engines also have the capability to be converted to operate on natural gas in the future. The new propulsion engines reduce fuel use by 39,600 gallons and carbon dioxide emissions by 443 tons annually. In addition, the upgrade reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 39.7 tons and particulate matter (PM) emissions by nearly half a ton.
The M/V New Jersey and MV Cape Henlopen are currently equipped with two Fairbanks Morse 38D8-1/8 propulsion engines with a power rating of 2,060 horsepower each. More than 40 years old, these workhorse engines are approaching 100,000 operating hours or the equivalent of 1.5 million miles. In addition, because the Fairbanks Morse engines are no longer built, spare parts are becoming both difficult to find and expensive. The repowering project is expected to completed within the next five years.
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 43 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2015, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @CMLFerry.
Carper_MVDEengineroom.jpg: Cape May - Lewes Ferry First Assistant Engineer Adam Tart (right) discusses the operational capabilities of the new EMD engines aboard the MV Delaware with U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Lewes Mayor Ted Becker, and Ferry Director of Ferry Operations Heath Gehrke.