Two companies recently filed with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for authorization to export containerized liquefied natural gas (LNG) to free trade agreement (FTA) countries.

Argent Marine Management Inc. is seeking DOE authorization for export of containerized cargoes of LNG that would be trucked from an existing liquefaction facility in Alabama to multiple ports in the southeastern United States.

Maersk Line Ltd., a U.S. affiliate of global shipping giant A.P. Moller Maersk is a partner with Argent in the venture, which is targeting the power generation and marine vessel markets in the Caribbean. Argent is seeking authorization to export to FTA countries up to 20,000 metric tons per annum (mtpa), or about 1 Bcf per year for a 25-year period.

LNG would be sourced from AGL Resources unit Pivotal LNG Inc. at its liquefaction facility in Trussville, AL. From there it would be trucked in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) containers to Maersk facilities at ports in Jacksonville, FL; Houston; or Norfolk, VA. “Argent Marine also requests authorization to load at any other U.S. port that is now or will be in the future capable of loading ISO containers,” the company said in its filing.

The project would expand the use of natural gas in the Caribbean, the company said.

“Argent Marine has had discussions with a major downstream distributor as well as with customers in FTA countries, particularly in the Caribbean, a region that is ideal for small- to mid-scale LNG supply operations,” Argent said. “Argent Marine’s discussions have focused on serving growing demand for natural gas from the power plant sector and from the marine vessel and vehicle fuel markets, all of which are evaluating switching from burning other fossil fuels and petroleum products to cleaner-burning natural gas.”

Further, the company has had talks with other potential U.S. LNG suppliers that may desire to export under its authorization, the company said. Applications to export natural gas to FTA countries are presumed to be in the public interest and are routinely approved by DOE.

Separately, Advanced Energy Solutions LLC (AES) recently requested authorization to export up to 8 Bcf per year of LNG over a 25-year period in ISO containers to markets in Central America and the Caribbean.

“AES has a primary focus in the Honduran market surrounding a select group of small co-generation power plants that supply industrial and commercial customers,” the company said in its filing. “These co-generation plants are currently fueled with higher-priced fuel sources such as heavy fuel oil supplied by AES-affiliated entities.

AES is owned by AES Holdings Group LLC of Wyoming. The company intends to source LNG from a planned facility of Floridian Natural Gas Storage Co. LLC in Martin County, FL, which has been approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The LNG would be purchased from BP Energy Co., which will hold firm capacity at the Floridian facility, AES said.

Gas to be liquefied at Floridian would be delivered via Florida Gas Transmission Co. and Gulfstream Natural Gas System from FGT Zone 3, AES said. Containerized LNG cargoes would be trucked/railed from the facility and exported from the Port of Palm Beach. AES said it could begin exporting LNG purchased under long-term agreements with BP, which are currently in process, by the end of 2015.

Just over two years ago, DOE authorized Florida-based Carib Energy (USA) LLC to export containerized LNG to FTA countries Central America, South America and the Caribbean (see Daily GPI, Aug. 2, 2011). Last May, Carib was acquired by Crowley Maritime Corp., marking that company’s entry into the LNG business (see Daily GPI, May 9).