Navy seeks almost 40 million gallons of biofuels

Defense Logistics Agency Energy, in coordination with the Navy, has released a solicitation seeking biofuels on a large scale for operational use.

The Navy is seeking at least 37 million gallons of biofuels as part of its F76 marine diesel and JP5 shipboard jet fuel supply.

Previously, biofuel blends of this nature were used only for the military's testing and certification purposes.

The news comes as the Secretary of the Navy is working to source 50% of all the Department's energy sources from alternative sources by 2020 and to sail the Great Green Fleet in 2016, according to a Navy news release.

The solicitation, released on 9 June, is part of DLA Energy's regular annual programme buy for all bulk petroleum products for various military customers located in the eastern portion of the US, the Gulf Coast and offshore.

'The Navy's requirements for both F76 marine diesel and JP5 shipboard jet fuel are included in the solicitation, therefore the Navy's biofuels requirements are seamlessly incorporated into the regular programme buy,' says Kevin Ahern, director of DLA Energy's Bulk Petroleum business unit. 'Any premium paid for a biofuel product will be funded through the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation funds.'

In support of the Navy's Farm to Fleet initiative, the specification for both F76 and JP5 were revised to allow up to a 50% biofuel blend, Ahern adds

The biofuels sought can be blended from 10 to 50% along with the conventional fuel product and must have all of the regular fuel military specification properties that make them indiscernible in handling requirements and performance to the end user.

Currently, two biofuels pathways have been tested and qualified for use in Navy and Marine Corps tactical vehicles.

'It is critical that we lean forward and aggressively support all of our customers in meeting both their short and long-term energy goals,' Ahern says. 'The Navy has established a goal of deriving half of its energy sources from alternative sources by 2020 – we are proud to play a key role in supporting this initiative.' 

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