Photos: Italian Navy
Italian and U.S. Navy have completed the first international replenishment at sea (RAS) to involve the transfer of alternative fuel, in this case a synthetic biodiesel (Green Diesel) produced in Italy.
On June 16, Italian Navy auxiliary ship Etna replenished the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and Great Green Fleet ship USS Mason on one side, and Italian destroyer, part of Flotta Verde, Andrea Doria on the other.
Green Diesel is a marine fuel containing up to 50% synthetic component derived from renewable sources, in accordance with NATO specifications. The synthetic component (HRF-76, Hydrogenated Renewable Fuel) is produced at the Porto Marghera bio-refinery, utilizing EcofiningTM technology. Renewable diesel possesses physical and chemical properties similar to conventional diesel – being non hygroscopic and highly stable – unlike other biodiesel fuels.
The maneuver was also attended by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, along with Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy Joseph M. Bryan and Chief of the Italian Navy Adm. Guiseppe De Giorgi, from the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87).
“There’s really one goal — sustainability,” said Mabus, “There are also strategic goals to it. The main reason for doing this is to make us better warfighters and to make us a better Navy.”
“A $2.26 per gallon cost for biofuel is a competitive price. The engines won’t notice and it will be as if we were using traditional fuels.”