Crowley Maritime Corp. said Wednesday a subsidiary has been awarded a multi-year contract to supply U.S.-sourced liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Puerto Rico (PR) to its first industrial customer, Coca-Cola bottlers.

Subsidiary Carib Energy (USA) LLC is to transport and provide fuel supplies to facilities owned by Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers in Cayey, PR, and Club Caribe in Cidra, PR, effectively switching them from diesel fuel. Both bottlers are subsidiaries of CC1 Cos.

"From the sourcing and transportation to the delivery into the equipment, the entire process and LNG supply chain will be seamless for Coca-Cola," said Carib Energy Vice President Greg Buffington. "We are thrilled to play a pivotal role in supplying a cost-efficient, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly natural gas fuel source for their operations."

Julio Bravo, CC1 vice president, said the company owned six manufacturing facilities on the island and was committed to finding alternative sources of fuel and was ready to begin working with Crowley on “bringing alternatives for cost effective sources of energy into our island, and in the process provide a better footprint in our industrial projects by lowering our emissions.”

He said the company was “committed to look at all alternatives that will help us maintain our competitiveness as manufacturers and provide our island with more cost effective sources of energy in order to continue growing as manufacturers of products for Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S.

"We understand the great opportunities in using LNG and hope to be one of many to encourage the demand and reliable supply of such sources of energy."

Crowley’s domestic logistics team is to transport, via highways, LNG from liquefaction facilities in the United States to its shipping terminal in Jacksonville, FL. Via highway transport, the shipper plans to use 40-foot intermodal containers authorized for use by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each container is designed to carry about 10,000 gallons of LNG.

At Jacksonville, Crowley would load the containers for shipping and after arriving at its destination, a PR-based logistics team would deliver the LNG to the bottling plants, where gas would be regasified and placed into a natural gas pipeline for eventual use.

Industrial conversions to natural gas can be compelling, offering combined heat and power synergies from firing boilers and ovens with natural gas, Buffington told NGI last fall, generating fuel savings of as much as 40-50% (see Daily GPI, Oct. 25, 2013).

In 2011, Carib Energy became the first company to receive authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy to export LNG to free trade agreement (FTA) countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean (see Daily GPI, Aug. 2, 2011). It was awarded a license to transport up to 11.53 Bcf/year over a 25-year term. Crowley acquired Carib Energy in 2013.

"[This] is an excellent example of how we can utilize a combination of our core provide an LNG energy solution in markets within the U.S. and abroad where there is great need and potential benefit," said Crowley’s Matt Jackson, vice president for LNG business development.