Exxon promotes LNG bunkering in US
Friday, Jul 07, 2017
ExxonMobil, Eagle LNG Partners and Crowley Maritime have agreed to collaborate on the development of LNG as a marine fuel in North America.

The three parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on June 28, with the goal of establishing the storage and technical support necessary to provide an LNG supply chain for vessel operators bunkering in North America. According to a joint statement, the partners will focus their initial efforts on marine and landbased customers in Florida before expanding into other North American markets.

The MoU “will leverage the specialist knowledge and expertise of ExxonMobil, Eagle LNG Partners and Crowley to the benefit of vessel operators bunkering in North America,” said Luca Volta, LNG venture manager at ExxonMobil.

“This agreement provides additional opportunities for vessel operators looking to adopt LNG as a marine fuel.” In terms of their respective roles, ExxonMobil will sell LNG bunker fuel to vessel operators and will provide additional technical support to help the parties carry out safe bunkering operations. The Houston, Texas-based Eagle LNG will supply the LNG and plans to design, build and operate small-scale production and storage and to co-ordinate truck deliveries overland.

A subsidiary of Ferus Natural Gas Fuels, Eagle is building LNG infrastructure across the US. Meanwhile the Jacksonville, Florida-based shipowner Crowley will provide bunker logistics and will ensure safe and reliable operations.

The three partners said their move had come in the context of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) decision to introduce a global 0.5% sulphur cap on vessel emissions in 2020, which will have an impact on bunker fuel selection.

They said the marine industry was heading for a multi-fuel future that includes low-sulphur options, especially LNG. Crowley’s Carib Energy subsidiary recently agreed a new LNG-supply deal in Puerto Rico, delivering cargoes from the US to a local pharmaceutical manufacturer.

The deal extended Crowley’s 2014 agreement to source and ship LNG to Puerto Rico, helping manufacturers on the island shift from diesel to gas-based power generation.

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