Recently, the Coast Guard’s Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGC NCOE) sponsored a service-wide webinar on liquefied gas ship shore connections which was presented by Trelleborg Marine Systems. With liquefied gas becoming more common place in ports throughout the country, events like this which promote collaboration and consistency across the Coast Guard are critical to ensuring safe, secure and clean transportation and use of liquefied gas in U.S. waters.
Capt. Brian Penoyer, sector commander for Sector Houston-Galveston, kicked off the presentation.
“We are now seeing the manifestation of years’ worth of liquefied gas investments coming to fruition. Just within the past several weeks alone, Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG out of Cameron Louisiana has begun exporting the first U.S. shale gas LNG and, half way across the nation outside Philadelphia’s Sunoco’s Marcus Hook facility, began exporting the first U.S. ethane. That, in combination with numerous other LNG, LPG, and ethane facilities under construction and in operation makes liquefied gases a major commodity not only in Gulf Coast but throughout the nation,” said Penoyer.
The presentation provided an overview of liquefied gas ship-shore connections used both on liquefied gas carriers and LNG fueling operations. The presentation also discussed emergency shutdown, ship to shore link for the large scale applications, universal safety link for the small scale fueling applications, quick release hooks, emergency release couplings and other docking and mooring-based equipment.
“One year ago, the Tankship Carla Mearsk, an outbound chemical tanker, collided with a bulk ship creating a nine-day closure of the Houston Ship Channel. Today’s presentation is helpful in not only familiarizing the prevention community with systems used onboard liquefied gas ships and how they work with facilities ashore, but also opening this discussion to all aspects of a Coast Guard sector, including response and planning,” said Penoyer. “It’s critically important that we all understand how this complex, and often unfamiliar, liquefied gas industry can remain safe. Whether your port is seeing new liquefied gas exports, imports or use of liquefied gas as a fuel, the change throughout the maritime community is effecting everything, from traffic management, to planning, to prevention to response.”
This week’s webinar, with over 27 participating units, provided the type of liquefied gas instruction Penoyer refers to. This session was presented by Mr. Andrew Stafford, technical director of Trelleborg Marine Systems, developer and manufacturer of specialized measurement, communications and safety systems for ships and other marine installations.
The LGC NCOE is one of six nationwide national centers of expertise focusing on providing industry specific consultation and services to the Coast Guard and maritime industry. The LGC NCOE provides technical advice on matters related to liquefied gas in the maritime community; liquefied gas training and outreach opportunities; liquefied gas workforce forecasting and performance development; and technical expertise for the establishment of local and national liquefied gas guidance, policy and regulations.
The LGC NCOE works with the private sector to provide bi-monthly liquefied gas webinars in order to train Coast Guard vessel inspectors, facility examiners, pollution responders, security, waterways management personnel and planners from around the country on the growing liquefied gas industry.
For more information on the LGC NCOE, visit their website at www.uscg.mil/lgcncoe.
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