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GAC in Tacoma tie-up with Puget LNG

Cooperation to supply LNG from Tacoma terminal to GAC's customers in the Pacific Northwest.

Puget Sound Energy's LNG terminal in the Port of Tacoma. Image credit: GAC Bunker Fuels

Updated on 05 May 2021 10:57 GMT

GAC Bunker Fuels and Puget LNG have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the supply and sale of LNG marine fuel from Puget LNG's terminal in Tacoma, Washington, to GAC's customers in the Pacific Northwest.

Puget LNG's sister company, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), is constructing an LNG facility at the Port of Tacoma which is due to begin operating in the second quarter of 2021 and become the first such terminal on North America's west coast to provide direct shoreside loading access for a bunker barge.

GAC Bunker Fuels, a division of GAC Group, says it will issue a request for proposal (RFP) for a Jones Act-compliant LNG bunker barge to be constructed, owned, and operated by a third party. It is expected to be operational in 2023.

Loading from Puget LNG's terminal in Tacoma, the barge would be able to bunker vessels in port and have the flexibility in size and design to serve multiple shipping customers. Also, credit terms would be extended to companies that purchase fuel on both a contract and spot basis, GAC notes.

The latest development follows the historic first LNG bunkering of a foreign ship in the United States, in September 2020, when the Fure Ven - a dual-fuel vessel owned and operated by Swedish firm Furetank - was bunkered in Jacksonville by physical supplier Eagle LNG Partners, with GAC broking the LNG fuel and providing ship agency services to the vessel.

Towards the end of last year, GAC also entered into a heads of agreement (HOA) with Houston-based Pilot LNG for LNG fuel to be delivered ex-ship for its clients in the ports of Houston, Texas City, Galveston and Galveston Offshore Lightering Area (GOLA), on a long-term basis.

Commenting on the Tacoma agreement, Nicholas Browne, GAC Bunker Fuels' Global Director, remarked: "This exciting foray into the Pacific Northwest with Puget LNG is the latest expansion of our footprint in the U.S., adding to GAC's growing LNG fuel portfolio."

Browne added: "We have less than ten years to meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the International Maritime Organization for 2030. Right now, LNG is the alternative fuel with the greatest potential and biggest following. GAC Bunker Fuels can help our customers and suppliers meet these targets by providing them with cleaner, cost-effective marine fuels like LNG. This dovetails with our own sustainability strategy, which we are pursuing with fervour and commitment."

GAC Bunker Fuels claims to be the world's only bunkering company with an integrated ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 certification for bunker procurement that also covers LNG as a marine fuel.

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