US energy company Pilot LNG has filed regulatory applications with the relevant US government agencies to establish the Galveston LNG Bunker Port to provide LNG as a marine fuel to the Ports of Houston, Texas City and Galveston.
The terminal, located on Pelican Island, would be the first in the region dedicated to the supply of LNG as a marine fuel. The facility will use floating liquefaction (FLNG) technology, designed by Pilot LNG’s project partner Wison Offshore and Marine. Wison has already successfully deployed its technology in Argentina.
Pilot LNG says that the Galveston Bay area is ideal for an LNG bunker terminal. In 2019, it recorded 10,500 vessel visits and is the fourth busiest cruise terminal in the US.
LNG is growing in popularity as a marine fuel as it is much cleaner-burning than conventional bunker fuel, particularly since the introduction of IMO 2020 on 1 January 2020 but the International Maritime Organization, which limits the sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships to 0.50%. Using LNG eliminates the need for SO2 scrubbers on board ships, reduces NOX emissions by 80-90% and virtually eradicates particulate emissions.
‘Pilot LNG’s Galveston LNG Bunker Port will provide clean-burning LNG to one of the US’s largest port complexes. The proposed Galveston LNG Bunker Port would provide the necessary infrastructure to supply the growing market for LNG marine fuel, substantially reducing marine emissions and cutting shippers’ fuel costs at the same time,’ says Pilot LNG Chief Executive, Jonathan Cook.
Pilot LNG says that it expects to make a final investment decision on the terminal in the second half of 2021, and begin operations in 2024.