Badger receives federal grant to study alternative fuel source

September 25, 2023

MCP photo

Badger receives federal grant to study alternative fuel source

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lake Michigan Carferry has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the federal government to fund a feasibility analysis to convert the SS Badger from coal to zero emission. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), which announced last week nearly $12 million in grants in eight marine highway projects across the nation under the United States Marine Highway Program (USMHP). 

The grant to LMC, a subsidiary of Interlake Holding Co. of Toledo (which also owns Interlake Shipping), will support a zero-emission/carbon capture feasibility analysis to convert the fuel source of the 70-year-old vessel. In a LMC podcast earlier this year, Mark Barker, president and CEO of Interlake Shipping, stated his company plans to convert the Badger from coal to an alternative fuel source. 

A MARAD press release states: “The project will facilitate the safe, sustainable, and efficient transfer movement of three types of freight: traditional semi-trailers, oversize loads, and project cargo. The service offers customers a more economical and efficient transportation route which allows truckers to avoid a 350-mile trip through Chicago on the heavily congested I-90. As the last coal-powered freight and passenger ferry in the United States, this project will embrace clean energy and support the United States Marine Highway Program’s initiative of reducing emissions.”

The Badger’s 2023 sailing season was cut short in late July after a counter weight at its Ludington dock collapsed. Barker stated in a video released by the company that his company is committed to repairing the dock and sailing the Badger again in 2024. 

Area Churches