Coast Guard establishes Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise

PORT ARTHUR, Texas – The Coast Guard will establish the Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise in Port Arthur, Texas, April 9, 2009. This NCOE will be the third such center of expertise and is part of the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Enhancement Program.

The center will serve as the Coast Guard’s focal point in the operation and examination of gas ships. The Coast Guard is responsible for ensuring that ships transporting liquefied natural gas to the United States meet international and domestic standards for construction and operation that promote the safe transport of LNG.

The center is a training facility that will focus on establishing and maintaining expertise in cryogenic and compressed gas carrier technology and operations, and provide Coast Guard personnel with the technical knowledge and skills they need to carry out their missions. The center’s ultimate goal is to improve marine safety. In addition to LNG, other gases that are shipped on specialized carriers, such as liquefied petroleum gas and anhydrous ammonia, also will be part of the center’s focus.

“ This center will allow the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Program to keep pace with maritime industry growth and specific needs,” said Capt. John Plunkett, commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur.

Maintaining and administering a ship-rider program to familiarize students in ship design, systems and operations is one of the many functions the center will provide. Other functions of the center include: providing training to personnel at Coast Guard sectors who perform LNG ship and facility examinations, providing assistance to units working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during an LNG facility approval process, and providing on-the-job training opportunities for marine inspectors from other Coast Guard units who examine foreign LNG carriers.

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