Puget LNG at the Port of Tacoma in Washington has joined the LNG as a fuel collaborative SEA-LNG, strengthening the organisation’s membership base on the North American west coast
Wholly owned subsidiary of Puget Energy, Puget LNG is a small-scale LNG facility that will be the first LNG bunkering facility on the US west coast when it opens in mid-2021. Puget LNG will not only serve marine customers, but also land-based customers. The facility will have a shared function, providing LNG for Puget LNG’s commercial customers as well as providing necessary domestic supply back-up for Puget Sound Energy’s customers. Puget LNG’s first marine customers will be TOTE Maritime Alaska, which will bunker its Alaska-bound dual-fuel Orca-class trailerships on a weekly basis.
“The operational launch of Puget LNG’s Port of Tacoma facility is yet another positive step down the decarbonisation pathway,” noted SEA-LNG chairman Peter Keller. “In environmentally sensitive areas, such as the waters surrounding the Port of Tacoma, it is essential to remember that LNG protects oceans, creates a healthier environment in terms of air quality, and is proven safe. Tackling climate change is a shared responsibility and must start now – waiting is not an option.”
Puget LNG director of business development Blake Littauer added “As the leading supplier of LNG in the Pacific Northwest, Puget LNG is building out infrastructure within the state of Washington to enable a safe, reliable and economic source of LNG with various end uses. The Port of Tacoma is well-placed as a port of call for LNG-fuelled ships and we are committed to supporting shipowners who want to lower their carbon footprint today, while also creating future potential for bio and synthetic LNG to a fully decarbonised future for shipping.”
Investment in LNG bunkering infrastructure is being underpinned by a rapidly expanding LNG-fuelled fleet. The size of the LNG-fuelled fleet more than doubled from 2015 to 2020, growing from 70 vessels in operation to 191. As of 2021, there are 198 LNG-fuelled vessels in operation and another 265 on order or under construction.
One pathway to decarbonisation available to shipowners investing in building or converting ships to operate on LNG, is through the transition to bio and synthetic LNG. Owners will be able to switch to these carbon-neutral fuels when they become more widely available as they use the same existing engine technology and infrastructure. Some shipowners – such as the Finnish Border Guard are using pure or a mix of bio-LNG, a totally renewable fuel – to lower carbon emissions.
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