The U.S. Navy’s Green Strike Group is scheduled to use the advanced biofuels procured by the Defense Logistics Agency Energy to power ships during a portion of the 23rd annual Rim of the Pacific exercise scheduled June 27 through Aug. 7, in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
The Navy used the largest single government purchase of biofuels resulting from DLA Energy’s 450,000 gallon alternative fuels contract award in the biennial exercise.
Working with Navy requirements, DLA Energy contracted to have 100,000 gallons hydrotreated renewable JP5 jet fuel, known as HRJ5, and 350,000 gallons of hydrotreated renewable F76 marine distillate fuel, known as HRD76, available for delivery between Jan. 1 and May 1. Feedstocks used to develop the fuels did not compete with food production.
The advanced biofuel was trucked to Naval Supply Systems Command Fleet Logistics Center Puget Sound, Wash., and issued to two fuel barges at a defense fuel support point at Manchester, Wash. The barges were cleaned and isolated for the HRD76 and HRJ5. Delivery of the advanced biofuels was completed May 18.
Personnel at DFSP Manchester added equal amounts of conventional F76 and JP5 fuel to the HRD76 and HRJ5, respectively, bringing the amount of the blended fuel to 900,000 U.S. gallons.
The 900,000 gallons of the 50/50 blend was loaded to Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO 187) at DFSP Manchester June 13, according to a U.S. Navy press release.
While underway, the Kaiser will transfer the HRJ5 fuel to U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and the HRD76 fuel to the Navy's guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59) and destroyers USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) and USS Chaffee (DDG 90), according to the release.
Since the fuel is designed to be a “drop-in replacement,” to traditional petroleum fuels, no engine modifications were needed for use in Navy-tested ships and aircraft.
"The Navy has always led the nation in transforming the way we use energy, not because it is popular, but because it makes us better warfighters," Mabus said. "This unprecedented fuel purchase demonstrates the Obama administration's commitment to seeking energy security and energy independence by diversifying our energy supply."
DLA Energy Bulk Petroleum business unit coordinated the contract between the Navy and the contractor. From the request for proposal June 27, 2011, to the Nov. 30, 2011, award, the business unit adapted their processes to meet the Navy’s requirements for the sizable biofuels contract.
This was funded through the Navy, and not through the Defense Working Capital Fund. For this particular effort, the feedstock source came from the U.S. or Canada, said Bruce Blank, the then-Bulk Petroleum director.
“We also needed to ensure that given these parameters, our selected supplier could provide the fuel on specification and within the timeframes required by the customer,” Blank continued.
Blank noted DLA Energy’s efforts this time are in support of the Navy’s Green Strike Group local operations 2012 effort, but the bigger goal is eventually sailing the Green Fleet in 2016.