Liquefied natural gas soon will become a cargo as well as a fuel for Crowley Maritime.
Crowley, which in November ordered two container ships that will use LNG fuel, said its Carib Energy unit has won a multiyear contract to supply LNG in containers to Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers and Club Caribe. The contracts are Carib Energy’s first industrial customers for LNG. The companies that will receive the LNG are subsidiaries of CC1 Companies. The LNG will provide a cleaner-burning alternative to the two plants’ current fuel source, diesel.
Crowley’s domestic logistics team will coordinate over-the-road transport of 40-foot containers, which will each carry about 10,000 gallons of LNG to the company’s Jacksonville, Fla., terminal for loading onto Puerto Rico-bound vessels. After the containers arrive in Puerto Rico, Crowley will deliver the LNG to local Coca-Cola bottling facilities, where the LNG will be re-gasified back into pipeline natural gas for power consumption.
“We understand the great opportunities in using LNG and hope to be one of many to encourage the demand and reliable supply of such sources of energy,” said Julio Bravo, president of CC1 Companies, in a written statement.
Crowley entered the LNG market last year by acquiring Carib Energy, which was founded in 2011 and was the first to receive a Department of Energy export license for transportation of LNG into countries with which the U.S. has free trade agreements. Carib Energy has applied to the DOE for permission to supply LNG transportation services into other countries.
Soon after the acquisition, a Crowley LNG services group was formed to begin offering supply, transportation and distribution of LNG services via 10,000-gallon ISO tanks. Crowley officials said LNG provides users with low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel, and also gives the company an advantage in future LNG fuel bunkering for ships operating between the U.S. and Caribbean markets.
LNG is natural gas that is cooled to minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit until it liquefies and then is stored at atmospheric pressure. Converting natural gas to LNG reduces its volume by about 600 times. Once delivered to its destination, the LNG is warmed back into its original gaseous state so that it can be used like existing natural gas supplies. LNG is not stored under pressure and it is not explosive.