The U.S. Coast Guard has established the Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise in Port Arthur, TX, to serve as its base for the supervision of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers. The Coast Guard is charged with ensuring that tankers meet international and domestic standards for construction and operation that promote the safe transport of LNG.

The center is a training facility that will focus on establishing and maintaining expertise in cryogenic and compressed gas carrier technology and operations. In addition to LNG, other gases that are shipped on specialized carriers, such as liquefied petroleum gas and anhydrous ammonia, also will be part of the center’s focus.

“This center will allow the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Program to keep pace with maritime industry growth and specific needs,” said Capt. John Plunkett, commanding officer of the Marine Safety Unit at Port Arthur.

Maintaining and administering a ship-rider program to familiarize students with ship design, systems and operations is one of the services the center will provide. Other functions include training personnel at Coast Guard sectors who perform LNG ship and facility examinations, providing assistance to units working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during the LNG facility approval process, and providing on-the-job training opportunities for marine inspectors from other Coast Guard units who examine foreign LNG carriers.

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