Pilot LNG, GAC team up on US bunkering project

Texas-based Pilot LNG is joining forces with a unit of GAC for the supply of LNG as a marine fuel from its proposed bunkering project in Texas.

Pilot LNG has earlier this year filled regulatory applications with relevant government agencies for the region’s first dedicated bunkering terminal on Pelican Island named Galveston LNG Bunker Port.

GAC said Wednesday its bunker fuels unit and Pilot LNG signed a heads of agreement which outlines the terms of the potential partnership.

The deal prepares the ground for Pilot to provide LNG marine fuel to GAC on a delivered ex-ship basis for its customers in the Galveston Bay Port complex on a long-term basis.

This includes the ports of Houston, Galveston and Texas City, as well as Galveston offshore lightering area.

Pilot’s chief executive Jonathan Cook said the Galveston project would provide LNG to supply GAC’s growing market for cleaner marine fuel, particularly as its customers seek economic ways to comply with tightening emissions regulations, including IMO 2020.

GAC Bunker Fuels’ global director Nicholas Browne adds: “We have a proven track record of more than three decades supplying quality marine fuels to the shipping sector, and we continually adapt to meet our customers’ evolving needs.

This agreement with Pilot will allow us to grow our portfolio of alternative fuels, with LNG as the cleanest and most cost-effective way for shippers to meet compliance.”

Project start in 2024

The Galveston project’s facility infrastructure includes floating liquefaction technology by Pilot partner, Wison Offshore & Marine.

China’s Wison will design and build the liquefaction unit that will supply LNG to the end-user market in the area.

The non-propelled unit will be 148 meters long with a capacity of around 0.5 mtpa. It will also have a c type tank with a storage capacity of 18,000 cbm.

Furthermore, the bunkering project includes land-based facilities such as a control room, feed gas compressor and a pipeline.

The total project costs could reach up to $500 million.

Pilot plans to take a final investment decision on the project in the second half of 2021.

Following the decision and completion of construction works, the company would launch the facility’s operations in 2024.

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