Florida ports buy further into natural gas

Port Canaveral has geared up to home the first fully LNG powered cruise ship in North America this year Photo: FPC Port Canaveral has geared up to home the first fully LNG powered cruise ship in North America this year Photo: FPC

America's Florida Ports Council and the Florida Natural Gas Association have released a report showing how ports across the state are increasingly turning to natural gas.

Perhaps this isn’t a big surprise with the US now leading the world in natural gas exports, with reserves into the next century.

The 'Alternative Fuels Study' report outlines that more than 25 LNG powered cruise ships are expected to be built over the next six years and ports across Florida are preparing to welcome them.

"As more stringent air quality air regulations for port operations and maritime vessels are implemented across the country, there is increased demand for alternative fuels in the national and global transportation industry,” said Dr Julia Nesheiwat, chief resilience officer, State of Florida.

"This increased demand coupled with the rapid expansion of the natural gas industry, provides and exciting opportunity for Florida seaports to expand their use of natural gas, creating economic and environmental benefits for the state.”

Unique position

Dr Nesheiwat adds in the report that Florida’s ports are in a unique position to capitalise on their leading edge nationally for providing LNG and CNG fuel for cargo and cruise vessels.

Now, she said that the state’s main focus should be on ensuring that Florida has the infrastructure to capitalise from their increased use.

The state is already going some way to achieve this, but LNG bunkering in the United States has significant potential for expansion.

On a national level, LNG bunkering only takes place in Jacksonville, Florida and Port Fourchon, Louisiana at present.

A third bunkering facility is in development in Tacoma, Washington, but has encountered various permitting delays.

Port Canaveral will soon take delivery of a LNG bunkering barge developed by Q-LNG Transport to provide fuel for the first fully LNG powered cruise ship in North America - Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras.


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