Submitted by Lt. Jessica Galarza, Advanced Journeyman Marine Inspector, Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise
Senior Coast Guard leaders and liquefied gas industry experts from around the country came together December 4-5 in Houston to discuss ways the maritime community can prepare for the increased use of liquefied gases, and to gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies each party faces as they adapt to the continued growth of this multi-billion dollar industry in the maritime domain.
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) hosted the executive level event. The agenda included presentations on topics such as LNG’s role in today’s market, liquefied gas carriers, liquefied gas import and export facilities, and use of liquefied gas as a marine fuel.
With over 20 topics and more than 25 speakers, attendees learned about current regulatory frameworks, factors and influences effecting LNG, maritime liquefied gas projects either underway or proposed throughout the U.S, and challenges facing industry. In addition, the attendees had the unique opportunity to visit the Enterprise Products Partners LPG facility and learn about their production, storage, and operations.
The maritime community is currently 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 (ECA), 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 facilities, as well as liquefied gas fueled vessels and bunkering operations that are either already underway, or commencing near in the future in ports around the U.S.
Coast Guard 8th District Commander Rear Adm. Paul Thomas gave remarks during the forum’s opening session.
“I would like to offer my most sincere appreciation to the Society of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators, SIGTTO, for hosting this year’s event and to the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel, Riviera Maritime Media, and the LGC NCOE for your cooperation in this event,” Thomas said. “Your efforts over the past few years have helped the Coast Guard better understand the liquefied gas industry, and the industry to better understand the roles and responsibilities of the Coast Guard. I encourage all of you to continue to innovate and to work with the Coast Guard as you develop new ways to transport, store and use liquefied gas.”
In addition to Thomas, more than 50 Coast Guard leaders, including many Captains of the Port from around the country, attended. Furthermore, personnel from the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and close to 200 industry representatives participated in the event.
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