Full electrical power has been restored to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker that lost propulsion off the Massachusetts coast early Monday, according to the Coast Guard Boston Command Center.
Technicians on the LNG tanker Catalunya Spirit restored full electrical power to the vessel’s switchboards Tuesday night and continue to make progress toward resuming the ship’s propulsion.
The ship, which is owned by Poseidon Gas and operated by Vancouver, BC-based Teekay Corp., is at the future site of the Neptune Offshore LNG facility off Eastern Point Light near Gloucester, MA. The ongoing repairs are being monitored and managed by the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba remains with the Catalunya Spirit enforcing a safety zone around the tanker.
While the tanker is not reported to have leaked any LNG, a spill-response ship is on the scene with 2,640 feet of boom on board and a second ship carrying an equal amount of boom is en route. The Coast Guard said there are 17 additional spill-response boats in the area that could respond to a leak in three to four hours and another 150 spill-response boats could be on the scene in eight to 10 hours.
The 933-foot-long tanker lost propulsion about 33 miles east of Chatham, MA, Monday and was towed Tuesday to a northern anchorage point about seven miles off the coast of Gloucester (see Daily GPI, Feb. 13). Rescue efforts Monday were hindered by 18- to 20-foot seas and high winds.
The tanker was transporting a full load (138,000 cubic meters) of LNG from Trinidad and Tobago to the Distrigas terminal near Boston when it ran into problems and went adrift. The LNG shipment will not be brought into Boston Harbor until the Coast Guard, Teekay and the Captain of the Port of Boston have verified its safety, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
Distrigas has “sped up the timeline” for shipment of another LNG cargo to “ensure there are no energy concerns” in the New England region, a Coast Guard spokesman said Tuesday. The Distrigas facility supplies about 20% of all the natural gas used in New England.
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