(SAN JUAN. Puerto Rico) — Crowley Maritime Corp.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) services group has been awarded a multi-year contract to supply containerized LNG from the U.S. mainland to Molinos de Puerto Rico, the Caribbean arm of Ardent Mills LLC, the territory’s leading supplier of flour as well as wheat, corn and rice-based food ingredients.
The contract, executed through Crowley’s subsidiary Carib Energy (USA) LLC, includes both the supply and transportation of LNG, and will help Molinos expand environmental sustainability efforts and better manage any weather-related power challenges that can affect the island of Puerto Rico.
LNG is a safe, environmentally friendly fuel that is simply natural gas in a liquid state. Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel and is being used throughout the world to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Compared to coal and other fuel oils, natural gas produces far fewer carbon dioxide and sulfur emissions. It is also widely abundant and cost effective.
The transportation of LNG from liquefaction facilities on the mainland to Molinos’ plant will be managed by Crowley’s domestic logistics team, which will coordinate the over-the-road transport of 40-foot ISO containers, authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation to carry approximately 10,000 gallons of LNG, to the company’s Jacksonville, Fla., shipping terminal. Once in Jacksonville, the containers will be loaded onto company-owned vessels departing for Puerto Rico. Upon arrival on the island, Crowley’s Puerto Rico-based logistics team will deliver the LNG to the customer’s facility. There, the LNG will be re-gasified and used for power consumption.
“Carib Energy is extremely pleased to be a vital supplier and logistics provider of LNG to Crowley’s longtime liner services customer, Molinos de Puerto Rico,” said Greg Buffington, Crowley vice president. “Our teams have been working side by side with Molinos, the Caribbean arm of Ardent Mills, assisting with the engineering to utilize the natural gas and also the logistics necessary to accommodate LNG delivery to the Molinos plant. We want to thank Ardent Mills and Molinos for having confidence in Crowley and Carib Energy to allow us to play a pivotal role in supplying a cost-efficient, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly natural gas fuel source for their operations.”
Jon Stuewe, Molinos de Puerto Rico president, stated, “We appreciate the nearly two years of thoughtful care and planning that have gone into this effort. We also appreciate the additional capabilities and assured ingredient supply made possible by this important alternate fuel source. We are committed to operating across our supply chain with innovative ideas that also deliver a more positive environmental impact.”
Crowley’s Carib Energy was the first company to receive a small scale, 25-year, LNG export license from the U.S. Department of Energy for LNG transportation from the U.S. into Free Trade Agreement (FTA) countries. Shortly thereafter, a Crowley LNG services group was formed to begin offering supply, transportation and distribution of LNG services via 10,000-gallon ISO tanks, and the company was additionally granted the first small-scale license for supply, transportation and distribution of LNG into Non-Free Trade Agreement (NTFA) countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Molinos de Puerto Rico joins several other customers receiving containerized LNG supply in Puerto Rico, where a virtual natural gas pipeline has been established by Crowley from the U.S. Crowley is already supplying LNG to Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers in Cayey and Club Caribe in Cidra, both wholly owned subsidiaries of CC1 Companies, and to a major pharmaceutical company on the island. Additional industrial companies on the island are considering making the switch to LNG.