5/20/2019: Coast Guard gives three-day LNG training to Panama Canal Authority

Written by Scott Mercurio, Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise

Staff with the Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise (LGC NCOE) delivered training May 7-10, 2019, on all aspects of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to representatives from the Panama Canal Authority and Panama Maritime Authority, and first responders. LGC NCOE staff covered a wide array of topics pertinent to the transportation of LNG to include the chemical and physical properties of LNG, LNG gas carriers, LNG terminals, and the use of LNG as a marine fuel.

About 50 attendees heard comprehensive lectures on LNG carrier general arrangements, safety systems, and cargo operations. The LGC NCOE instructors walked the class through a typical Coast Guard examination of a liquefied gas carrier, key safety elements, and followed by a discussion of historically significant case studies as they relate to LNG.

This year’s training event was especially noteworthy as the Coast Guard’s LGC NCOE had the opportunity to conduct training on board the Q-Flex vessel Al Safliya. At 315 meters in length and with a breadth of 50 meters and a 210K cubic meter cargo capacity, the Al Safliya was the first Q-Flex type carrier and the largest LNG vessel to transit the Panama Canal.

“The master and crew of the Al Safliya, which is operated by PRONAV and chartered by Qatargas, were fantastic hosts and provided our large contingent of trainees with vessel access,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dallas Smith, supervisor of the LGC NCOE. “This professional interaction is a vital component in the U.S and Panama’s strategic relationship and is instrumental in furthering the Panama Canal Authority and the Panama Government’s understanding of LNG. Additionally, it strengthens the United States’s strategic understanding of the Panama Canal and its role in supporting the transportation route to accommodate the growth of the international shipments of natural gas. The Coast Guard is happy to assist those responsible for the safe transit and administration of LNG in the Panama Canal.”

The LGC NCOE is one of six nationwide national centers of expertise focusing on providing industry specific consultation and services to the Coast Guard and maritime industry. The LGC NCOE provides technical advice on matters related to liquefied gas in the maritime community; liquefied gas training and outreach opportunities; liquefied gas workforce forecasting and performance development; and technical expertise for the establishment of local and national liquefied gas guidance, policy and regulations.

For more information on the LGC NCOE, visit their website.

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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