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Navy opens solicitation for 37 million gallons of biofuel

By Erin Voegele | June 11, 2014

The U.S. Department of the Navy is seeking at least 37 million gallon of drop-in biofuels as part of its F-76 marine diesel and JP-5 shipboard jet fuel supply in the upcoming Inland/East/Gulf Coast bulk fuels solicitation, which was released by the Defense Logistics Agency Energy on June 9. Bids are due July 9 with fuel deliveries beginning April 1, 2015.

The F-79 and JP-5 specifications allow up to 50 percent of finished fuel to consist of synthesized blend components derived from hydroprocessed esters and fatty acid or Fischer Tropsch conversion processes. Information released by the Navy notes that while only two biofuel pathways have been tested and qualified for use in Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, ships, vehicles and equipment, efforts are underway to adopt additional pathways.

A notice issued by the Navy specifies the biofuels can be blended at rates of 10-50 percent with conventional petroleum-based fuel and must meet all military fuel specification properties. The DLA will purchase the biofuel blends only if they are cost competitive with conventional fuels. According to the Navy, $27.2 million in Commodity Credit Corp. funds are available to defray any additional costs that may exist for fuels derived from domestic feedstocks on a USDA approved list. The CCC funding is capped at 71 cents per neat gallon of biofuel.

The official solicitation, published to the FedBizOpps.gov website indicates that to be eligible for CCC funds, the biofuel blend must contain 10-50 percent biofuel, as permitted by the JP-5 and F-76 specifications. The CCC funds will be allocated through the Bid Evaluation Model and will cover a portion of the offered price. According to the solicitation, an offerer will not be paid a price higher than its offered price.

Fuel offered under the solicitation must also comply with Section 526 of the Energy Security and Independence Act. That section of U.S. law requires that the lifecycle gas emissions of the alternative fuel must be equal to or less than petroleum-based fuel based on either the renewable fuel standard (RFS) or GREET Model.

According to the Navy, expanding military energy sources improves the reliability of the overall fuel supply and adds resilience against supply disruptions. It also gives the military more fuel options to maintain its readiness and defend the national security interests of the U.S.

Additional information on the solicitation can be found on the FedBizOpps.gov website under Solicitation Number SP060014R0061