Written by Lt. Cmdr. Eric Hanson, Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise
Senior Coast Guard leaders and liquefied gas industry experts from around the country came together December 6-7, in Houston, Texas to prepare for the increased use of liquefied gases throughout the maritime community and gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies each party faces as they adapt to the rapid growth of this multi-billion dollar industry.
The executive level event, hosted by the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) in cooperation with the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), Riviera Maritime Media and the Coast Guard’s Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGC NCOE), included educational information on topics such as liquefied gas carriers, liquefied gas import and export facilities, use of liquefied gas as a marine fuel, and the role of regulatory bodies associated with this industry. With over 19 topics and more than 25 speakers, attendees learned about current Coast Guard policy, regulations and procedures, and maritime liquefied gas projects either underway or proposed throughout the U.S. In addition, the attendees had the unique opportunity to visit Freeport LNG as they continue construction to expand their facility into an LNG export facility, as well as Cheniere Energy in Cameron, Louisiana.
The maritime community is experiencing an international shift with the increased transport and use of liquefied gases. Due in part to the environmental limitations put in place by the U.S. Emissions Control Area, the pending 2020 MARPOL VI reduced SOx regulations, and increased supply created from an expanding U.S. natural gas and oil industry, there is an abundance of low cost and clean fuel options for export and use in ports around the U.S. These changes are leading to new import and export facilities, as well as liquefied gas fueled vessels and bunkering operations that are either already underway or moving towards project completion.
During her keynote address, the Coast Guard’s Deputy Commandant for Operations, Policy and Capabilities, Rear Adm. Linda Fagan, expressed her appreciation to SIGTTO, SGMF, Riviera Maritime Media for hosting the event and then discussed the growth of the liquefied gas sector, the importance of working with industry, and the Coast Guard’s efforts in facilitating this growth safely into the future.
In addition to Fagan, more than 70 Coast Guard leaders, including many Captains of the Port from around the country, were in attendance. Furthermore, personnel from the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and close to 200 industry representatives participated in the event.
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.