A longtime operator of offshore towing vessels in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), a unit of Harvey Gulf International Marine Inc. on Thursday opened North America's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) marine fueling terminal in Port Fourchon, LA.
Less than a year after delivering the first U.S. LNG-powered vessel to a GOM-based unit of Royal Dutch Shell , M/V Harvey Energy, Harvey Gulf completed the bunkering of LNG fuel for the vessel, using its newly constructed LNG terminal facility at its Port Fourchon operations base.
Bunkering involved the transfer of 43,000 gallons of LNG in about 2.25 hours without incident, Harvey Gulf officials said. The first transfer was done on Jan. 29, and there have been four subsequent transfers, a company spokesperson said.
The latest effort is part of Harvey Gulf's initiative under the theme "no harm to the environment" for developing up to six dual-fueled LNG-powered offshore supply vessels under construction as well as the first-of-its-kind LNG fueling facility in Port Fourchon, the company website notes. By March, three of the vessels will be chartered to the Shell unit in the GOM, and the other three remain under construction and are undesignated in terms of their eventual operator, the spokesperson said.
In announcing the opening, Harvey Gulf officials said the terminal meets all U.S. LNG safety and fire code requirements and has the ability to deliver LNG at the rate of 550 gallons/minute. The facility has a maximum onsite storage capacity of 270,000 gallons, using three 90,000-gal. USG type-C vacuum-insulated tanks.
"Our small facility is designed to meet the same criteria that major LNG export facilities have to meet," a Harvey Gulf Executive Vice President Chad Verret told NGI on Friday. "Even though we are a small, 2.5-3-acre facility, we use the same regulatory framework that large import-export terminals use." The two national LNG standards were used to design the marine fueling facility, Verret said.
Harvey Gulf CEO Shane Guidry said the company is committed to promoting the use of LNG as a marine alternative fuel, which he characterized as "clean, abundant and cost-effective."
With the opening of the LNG fueling terminal, Harvey Gulf is now able to provide a LNG bunkering point at what Guidry called "the epicenter of marine operations for the Gulf of Mexico." He sees the facility as "vital" to the continuing shift to LNG as a marine fuel.
Harvey Gulf's fleet represents what the company characterizes as "a state-of-the-art" collection of offshore support vessels ranging from 175 feet to 340 feet including supply, fast supply, and construction vessels powered by the "latest technology available with industry leading cargo handling capabilities."
Late last year, companies with some extensive marine and natural gas expertise joined together in an effort to provide LNG as a maritime fuel globally (see Daily GPI, Dec. 4, 2015). Siemens Drilling and Marine, a second Siemens' business, Dresser-Rand (D-R), and Lloyd's Register (LR) are joining forces to provide marine vessels powered by natural gas.