2/29/2016: LGC NCOE leads exam on first large-scale U.S. carrier export of liquefied natural gas

Written by Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Hillenbrand

February 22, 2016, the liquefied natural gas carrier ASIA VISION called on Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass LNG in Cameron Parish, Louisiana to load the first LNG cargo for export from the lower 48 states since the 1960’s when the industry’s first ever LNG carrier, METHANE PIONEER sailed from Lake Charles, Louisiana to the United Kingdom.

The Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGC NCOE) led the inspection team on behalf of Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur.

“This inspection not only marks the start of the liquefied gas portion of the energy renaissance but also highlights how our national centers of expertise are uniquely positioned to augment field units to meet industry needs as well as train our future inspectors in this growing industry,” said Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy.

This transit marks the first of many LNG exports to come, and begins a new phase of the U.S. energy renaissance. Sabine Pass LNG was the first of seven facilities approved by Federal Regulatory Energy Commission and the Department of Energy to export LNG from the U.S. and the first to begin export operations. Sabine Pass LNG is expected to increase production in the near future resulting in an increase in LNG carrier arrivals. Four additional LNG export facilities are under construction throughout the U.S. and projected to begin operation within the next two to five years.

“The Coast Guard is committed to ensuring safety, as Sabine Pass LNG, and many other large scale liquefaction facilities, begin operation in the coming years, bringing potentially thousands of new liquefied gas carrier transits to ports throughout the county,” said Thomas.

The LGC NCOE was established in 2009 to augment and support Coast Guard field units during liquefied gas carrier exams and develop the liquefied gas carrier examiner workforce. In addition, the LGC NCOE provides technical expertise in the development and promulgation of national policy and regulations regarding the carriage and use of liquefied gas in the maritime industry; provides industry outreach and consultation to both industry and the Coast Guard; and provides technical advice on matters pertaining to liquefied gas carriers, liquefied gas transfer operations, LNG as a marine fuel including bunkering and liquefied gas facilities.

For more information on the LGC NCOE, visit their website at www.uscg.mil/lgcncoe.

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.

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