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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
Home » News

US roundtable gathering held to discuss LNG bunkering

18 Jun 2015 13:45 GMT

Industry stakeholders and government officials meet to discuss liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.

Earlier this month, on June 4, Commissioner William P. Doyle [pictured] of the Federal Maritime Commission held a roundtable discussion at the suggestion of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA).

Focussing on the topic of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, Commissioner Doyle brought together a number of key government officials and industry stakeholders across the maritime, energy, transportation sectors.

The meeting began with a presentation by NGSA Chairman Bill Green of Devon Energy, who discussed the natural gas production and supply market. He was interested in learning more about the emerging "new market" for natural gas in the maritime industry. The floor was then opened to all attendees to discuss issues regarding the use of LNG as a marine fuel.

The forum highlighted the progress made by U.S.-based marine operators Harvey Gulf Marine, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, and Crowley Maritime, who are transitioning to fuelling their vessels with LNG.

For U.S. operators, these retrofits and new builds have taken place exclusively in U.S. shipyards.

International ocean carriers United Arab Shipping Company and Wallenius Wilhelmsen shared their deep-sea perspective on the choice of fuels. Wallenius Wilhelmsen heads up the Trident Alliance while United Arab Shipping Company has ordered seventeen LNG-ready vessels scheduled to be fully delivered by 2016, including one 14,000 TEU container ship, ten 15,000 TEU container ships and six 18,000+ TEU container vessels.

Energy companies Sempra and Shell noted that natural gas will continue to become an important part of the global gas supply and called for continual infrastructure development. LNG America, a future natural gas bunker supplier, and design and service providers WesPac Midstream and Buffalo Marine Services, concurred that the LNG marine fuel/bunkering markets have room to grow.

Port authorities from Philadelphia, Jacksonville and New York/New Jersey also attended and commented that cargo owners are asking about sustainability. As a result, port authorities are looking at LNG as both a marine fuel and for shore-side operations, including drayage trucks and cargo handling machinery.

Government attendees included representatives from the U.S Department of Transportation, the U.S. Maritime Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. State Department and the Texas Department of Transportation.

Commissioner Doyle stated: "LNG bunkering is a potential market for America's natural gas resources. The Federal Maritime Commission's mission is to foster a fair, efficient and reliable international ocean transportation system. By bringing elements of the maritime industry together with the energy sector, we are beginning a long-term dialogue that should culminate in greater understanding and use of domestic natural gas that is cost-efficient and with significant environmental compliance benefits."

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