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Port of Corpus Christi Plans LNG Bunkering Infrastructure

LNG bunkering marine fuel Corpus Christi
Port of Corpus Chrsti plans addition of LNG bunkering (port courtesy port authority)

Published May 5, 2021 7:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Corpus Christi in Texas is the latest in a growing list of port authorities to announce efforts to support the growth of LNG as a marine fuel. The Port of Corpus Christi Authority and Stabilis Solutions plan to construct an LNG fueling infrastructure as they seek to expand the port’s support of the decarbonization efforts by the maritime industry.

The port authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the use of LNG. According to the MOU, the Port of Corpus Christi will provide suitable access to dock space for shore-to-ship fueling operations while Stabilis will deploy its existing fleet of mobile cryogenic assets, including LNG transportation and distribution equipment, from its LNG production plant in South Texas to support LNG fueling operations.

“The Port of Corpus Christi Authority sees LNG fueling of marine vessels as an important step toward our broader commitment to decarbonization and improved air quality,” said Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Corpus Christi. “We have a strong commitment to protecting our air attainment status, so by offering LNG as an alternative to diesel as a marine fuel within our gateway, we are evolving our sustainability protocols by reducing mobile source emissions.”

They recognized that some vessels calling at the Port of Corpus Christi today are already LNG-compatible and that in the near-term LNG is becoming increasingly prominent amongst the global fleet. Through this partnership designed to increase the availability of LNG as a marine fuel at the Port of Corpus Christi, they hope to attract more LNG-capable vessels and to encourage conversions to LNG power. The partners are also committing to providing customer education and technical support as well as attracting capital, including grant funding opportunities, designed to incentivize market development and viable customer solutions.

“The use of LNG as a marine fuel is critical for marine operators to reduce their emissions profile, and Stabilis is uniquely positioned to provide this service to customers along the Gulf Coast and beyond,” said Jim Reddinger, President and CEO of Stabilis Solutions. “Meeting the requirements of the energy transition requires innovative solutions, and we are excited to be part of this journey with the Port of Corpus Christi and its partners.”

According to the industry trade group SEA-LNG, more than 50 major ports around the world are providing LNG bunkering with the list regularly growing both with onshore operations and LNG bunkering vessels. “We applaud the Port of Corpus Christi and Stabilis for joining together on such an important endeavor to further the maritime sector’s efforts to decarbonize and reduce emissions,” said Peter Keller, Chairman of SEA-LNG.

The introduction of LNG capabilities will help Corpus Christi to complete with Galveston, which has developed LNG bunkering capabilities with a ship-to-ship supply. Port Fourchon, Louisiana is the only other port along the Gulf Coast currently able to provide LNG bunkering with its tank-to-ship operations. The Port of Corpus Christi did not announce a target date for when its LNG bunkering operations would be available.