Texas-based Pilot LNG executed a Heads of Agreement with GAC Bunker Fuels (GAC) for the supply of LNG as a marine fuel.
The liquefied natural gas will be supplied from Pilot LNG’s Galveston bunker port terminal project, which will be the first dedicated LNG bunker terminal in the region.
The heads of agreement outlines the terms of a partnership. It prepares the ground for Pilot to provide LNG marine fuel to GAC on a Delivered Ex-Ship (DES) basis for its customers in the Galveston Bay Port complex. This includes the ports of Houston, Galveston and Texas City, as well as Galveston Offshore Lightering Area, on a long-term basis.
“The Galveston LNG Bunker Port will provide the LNG to supply GAC’s growing market for cleaner marine fuel, particularly as its customers seek economic ways to comply with tightening emissions regulations, including IMO 2020,” says Pilot chief executive, Jonathan Cook.
GAC Bunker Fuels’ global director Nicholas Browne adds that this agreement with Pilot will allow GAC to grow its portfolio of alternative fuels, with LNG as the cleanest and most cost-effective way for shippers to meet compliance.
GAC Bunker Fuels is the world’s only bunkering company with an integrated ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 certification for bunker procurement that also covers LNG as a marine fuel.
In September, GAC acted as the bunker broker for the Swedish dual-fuelled vessel Fure Ven when it became the first non-US flagged vessel to bunker LNG in the United States, taking on supplies at the Port of Jacksonville (JAXPORT).
As international regulators tighten emissions standards, the maritime industry is increasingly turning towards LNG as the marine fuel of choice due to its significantly lower emissions profile and cost competitiveness. However, additional LNG bunkering infrastructure is needed before widespread adoption can occur.
The HOA with GAC follows Pilot’s filing of regulatory applications with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other relevant regulatory agencies in July. This paves the way for a final investment decision (FID) in 2021 and allows operations to begin in late 2024.
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