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Bahamas trio plans to build LNG bunkering facility

13 Apr 2018

BISX-listed Arawak Port Development Company (APD) Limited, owner and operator of the Nassau Container Port and Gladstone Freight Terminal, has made commitment to introduce a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering facility at the Bahamas, according to Tribune Business.

The LNG bunkering facility will be built at Prince George Wharf through a joint project between APD, fuel supply partner New Fortress Energy, and Bahamian investment advisory firm Colina Financial Advisors Ltd (CFAL) as part of plans to upgrade and expand Prince George Wharf to improve the visitor experience for cruise passengers.

The trio is planning to seek government approvals and permits for their LNG bunkering facility in an effort to "get out ahead" of rival Caribbean ports, says the Chief Executive of APD.

“We would like to be able to ramp up the review of this bunkering opportunity,” said Micheal Maura.

“We have communicated with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Transport, and we will begin the process of working with these ministries to move the project forward.

“We want to ensure the Bahamas wins the race. This is a Bahamian opportunity, and we want to make sure the Bahamas wins the race and gets out ahead of competitors looking to build LNG bunkering terminals as I speak.”

New Fortress is currently supplying Freeport-based Polymers International with LNG as a fuel for its main steam boilers and seeks to expand operations with the LNG bunkering development.

Maura, meanwhile, notes of plans to use a specially-constructed barge to transport LNG to cruise ships at Prince George Wharf for bunkering operations.

“The technology today is much different than it was 20 years ago. These things are built very safely, very competently,” he explains.

“The vessel we're using is smaller than a cargo ship. It brings in LNG, will come alongside our bulkhead, and we will have a facility on the port proper. Most of the storage of the LNG will be on the small vessel.”

The project to construct a LNG bunkering facility is also in line with a separate goal by the Bahamas government to develop the capital port of Nassau as a major cruise port.

“There's additional development and renovation required to accommodate these larger vessels,” says Maura. “We need to do it now as competitors with other Caribbean ports are chasing the same opportunity.”

“These two projects align and run parallel to each other. We need to develop our bunkering capacity at the same time as we develop our cruise port infrastructure.”

Published: 13 April, 2018

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