Coast Guard clears Virgin Islands for LNG shipping

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS) — The Coast Guard issued a letter of recommendation on July 23 to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources stating that the waterways associated with Vitol VI Corp.’s June 21, 2013 proposal to transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by ship to the U.S. Virgin Islands are considered suitable for use by the intended vessel traffic.

These waterways include the channel approaches to the Water and Power Authority (WAPA) docks in St. Thomas and St. Croix, as well as an offshore area for the transfer of LPG from larger vessels to smaller shuttle vessels.

The Coast Guard made its waterway suitability determination after a comprehensive review that followed applicable U.S. Coast Guard Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars and included Vitol VI Corp.’s Water Suitability Assessment and proposed offshore transfer of LPG and LPG shore operations at the WAPA docks. The review focused on navigational safety and maritime security risks that may be posed by LPG marine traffic and the measures needed to responsibly manage and mitigate those risks.

During the review process, the Coast Guard consulted a variety of stakeholders, including the Harbor Safety Committees, the Area Maritime Security Committee, and U.S Virgin Islands government and industry partners. Public meetings were held both in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and in Christiansted, St. Croix in late October 2014.

“The Coast Guard has worked closely with federal and local government partners, as well as WAPA and Vitol VI Corp., to achieve this important milestone in the permitting process that, once complete, will lead to delivery of LPG to the power plants of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Cmdr. Kailie Benson, Coast Guard Sector San Juan chief of prevention.

For more information about the Coast Guard’s permitting process associated with the maritime transport of LPG to the U.S. Virgin Islands, contact the Sector San Juan Prevention Department Chief, CDR Kailie Benson at 787-729-2378, the Marine Safety Detachment in St. Thomas at 340-776-3497, or the Resident Inspection Office in St. Croix at 340-772-5557, Ext. 200.

By Professional Mariner Staff