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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Charleston Tug Boats Switch to Cleaner Fuel

Charleston, SC - Continuing the Charleston maritime community's “Pledge for Growth” environmental commitment, a local tug boat operator is switching half its fleet to cleaner-burning fuels. The fuel switch was made possible through grant funding awarded by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Last week, DHEC, through the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, awarded grants to nine organizations across the state in both the public and private sector.

Moran Charleston will upgrade one tug to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) three years ahead of federal mandate and another tug to a biodiesel blend. The funding covers the additional cost of buying the cleaner fuel, which ranges from 10 to 22 cents more per gallon than regular diesel. Moran will receive 75 percent of the cost difference in DERA grant funding and will cover the remaining 25 percent.

Moran's project involves switching its largest Charleston-based tug, the 6,140-horsepower Elizabeth Turecamo, to ULSD. This change will provide an estimated 10 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions. The company also will switch the Cape May, a 3,000-horsepower twin screw tug, to a B20 biodiesel/ULSD blend, reducing particulate matter by 9 percent, carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 10 percent and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions by 21 percent.

Moran joins other organizations in the local maritime community using cleaner fuels to reduce port-related air emissions. The Charleston Branch Pilots Association, South Carolina State Ports Authority, South Carolina Public Railways and tenants have switched to ULSD in all pilot boats, on-terminal lifting equipment, and locomotives, respectively.

Moran provides ship docking and harbor towing services to vessels using the Port of Charleston. It is the successor company to White Stack Maritime, which had served the Port of Charleston since 1882.

To learn more about the port community's pledge to the environment, visit