The first LNG bunker barge in the Americas, Clean Jacksonville, is seen here fueling TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico’s containership Perla Del Caribe in Jacksonville, Florida
On January 1st, 2020, the global shipping fleet will face increased restrictions on exhaust emissions from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), requiring them to switch to compliant fuels and equipment. One of those compliant fuels, liquefied natural gas (LNG), is already being utilized within the United States and around the world.
Being that Virginia’s ports host robust commercial shallow-draft and deep-draft fleets, the Virginia Maritime Association (VMA) is working to ensure that our vessels will have access to IMO-compliant fuels in the near future, including LNG.
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Communication & Education
The VMA is currently developing a marketing and communications effort to let end-users of LNG know that Virginia's ports are aggressively pursuing LNG bunkering. This includes large, ocean-going ships, trucks, and other modes of transportation.
Additionally, they are working to educate stakeholders, elected officials, and the public on the safety & environmental benefits of LNG as a fuel source. LNG is currently being used as a fuel source in the United States and abroad.
Stakeholder Identification & Outreach
Additionally, the VMA is reaching out to relevant stakeholders and decision makers well in advance to ensure understanding of LNG bunkering and buy-in. We value our partners' input! LNG is heavily regulated in the United States, and boasts a strong track record of safety and reliability.
Operational Feasibility & Business Case
Finally, the VMA is analyzing several LNG bunkering operational models and potential site locations for interested LNG infrastructure developers. Access to deep water, proximity to supply pipelines, and infrastructure location are all importance decision factors.
Taking Action to Bring LNG to Virginia
The LNG Roundtable
On November 15th, 2018, the VMA hosted the LNG Roundtable, a forum on the future of emissions compliance regulations and the use of LNG as a compliant fuel option for vessels calling on our port. Several industry experts (ABS Group, SEA/LNG, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise) gave presentations on a wide range of LNG-related topics, such as IMO 2020 emissions regulations, compliance options, and regulatory oversight. With over 40 participants attending either in person or via conference line, the event attracted a wide range of regional industry stakeholders including gas suppliers, vessel operators, consultants, regulators, and technology providers.
The LNG Working Group
On April 22nd, 2019, the VMA hosted the LNG Working Group. Regional maritime stakeholders and subject matter experts gathered for the day-long event to discuss the super-cooled gas, listening to presentations on current market trends, legislative and regulatory climates, emergency response measures, and first-mover case studies. Beyond merely listening to presentations, the group used interactive site assessments, feasibility analysis, and other qualitative tools to compile and prioritize a list of recommendations for implementation. Furthermore, members of the VMA visited the ports of Jacksonville, FL, and Rotterdam prior to the Working Group to meet with industry leaders and learn from their experience.
Since then, a select group of steamship line representatives, gas suppliers, consultants, regulators, and stakeholders have started working on priority tasks such as message development, further feasibility analysis, and stakeholder outreach. These subgroups are actively working to attract end users and developers by demonstrating the viability of LNG operations while educating and preparing key decision makers and public officials.
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Participating in SEA/LNG
Significantly, the Virginia Port Authority recently joined SEA/LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition, further emphasizing Virginia’s willingness to provide LNG bunkering services while gaining access to critical resources, contacts, and studies.
Please use the form below to submit your business or service to the LNG directory of companies in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic that are interested in supporting the development of LNG bunkering. This directory will be shared with LNG-specific vendors looking to provide this service in our region.