Pilot, Seapath secure land for Galveston LNG bunkering facility

Pilot LNG and Libra Group’s maritime unit Seapath have secured land for their planned LNG bunkering facility in Galveston, Texas.

According to a statement by the two firms, their joint venture Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP) has signed a lease agreement with the City of Texas City for 140 acres of land on Shoal Point in Galveston County.

The land is located adjacent to the Texas City Ship Channel and in close proximity to the maritime centers of Texas City, Galveston, and Houston.

Pilot and Seapath announced the LNG bunkering project in September last year.

The two firms said then that they will initially invest about $150 million in the dedicated LNG bunkering facility in the US Gulf Coast.

Pilot and Seapath anticipate announcing the final investment Decision (FID) details of the GLBP project by the second half of 2024, with operations starting in late 2026.

Two trains and two tanks

Since the project was announced in September, GLBP has assembled a “top team of advisors” and continues its ongoing front-end engineering and design development for the project, the statement said.

The project includes two tanks each with a capacity of 3 million gallons and two trains able to produce up to 600,000 gallons per day.

Moreover, the first phase of the GLBP project is expected to produce 300,000 gallons per day of LNG for sale into the marine bunker fuel market in the Galveston Bay, and Western Gulf of Mexico region.

GLBP estimates it will file applications with the necessary federal and state agencies to permit, construct, and operate the small-scale LNG terminal for marine fuel in early 2024, the statement said.

Jonathan Cook and Shaun Davison founded Houston-based Pilot LNG in mid-2019. Prior to that, Cook co-founded US FSRU player Excelerate Energy and also led the Norwegian shipping firm Flex LNG.

Pilot LNG has been previously working to develop the $500 million Galveston LNG bunkering project with floating liquefaction technology developed by China’s Wison.

Cook said in the statement that the company believes this is “the best possible site in the entire Galveston Bay region” for the LNG bunkering facility.

“Its strategic location and proximity to the key ports of Texas City, Galveston, and Houston is critical in ensuring the successful delivery of this LNG marine fuels project,” he said.

“We look forward to more announcements in the coming weeks and months as additional milestones are achieved towards the successful delivery of the project,” Cook added.

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