Written by Lt. Cmdr. Dallas Smith
The Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGC NCOE) recently delivered a three-day Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) training seminar to the Panama Canal Authority, Panamanian Government and local first responders. Members of the LGC NCOE staff covered the chemical and physical properties of LNG, to include flammability, LEL, compression and cryogenic characteristics, and the general arrangement of LNG Carriers and their safety systems and cargo operations. The LGC NCOE also discussed historical LNG facility and carrier incident case studies, LNG terminals, LNG bunkering and LNG as a marine fuel. In addition, the LGC NCOE instructors walked the class through an examination of a Liquefied Gas Carrier.
The training the LNG NCOE provides is vital for the Panama Canal Authority and the Panama Government. It ensures personnel responsible for the safety and administration of the Panama Canal receive initial education, or review, on safety/security equipment and procedures for handling LNG transits. Additionally, it strengthens the U.S. strategic partnerships and provides essential expertise to this critical and growing international shipping market.
For readers who may not be aware; the canal, during the summer 2016, completed the Panama Canal expansion project when they open a third set of locks. The expansion doubles the capacity of the Panama Canal. It adds a new lane capable of larger ships, now know as New Panamax, to pass the locks. More specifically, the expansion now allows for LNG carriers to transit the locks.
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. For more information about the LGC NCOE, please visit their website.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.