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Marine Log

May 24, 2007

Suez LNG moves to implement U.S. crew agreement

Suez LNG, Massachusetts Maritime Academy (Academy), and the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (MM&P) maritime union have announced an agreement to recruit, train, and supply U.S citizen mariners for service on the LNG tankers owned or chartered by Suez LNG.

Suez LNG, in compliance with the deepwater port license agreement signed with Maritime Administrator, Sean T. Connaughton, will collaborate with both the academy and the union to train and employ U.S. citizen crew members on up to nine LNG vessels operating in the Suez fleet.

The MM&P will screen and provide resumes for mariners from Third Mate to Master and from Third Assistant Engineer to Chief Engineer.

The academy will also provide resumes for cadets and graduates who will be licensed next month and beyond as Third Mates and Third Assistant Engineers.

Academy cadets will be assigned, as necessary, to the LNG vessels to complete one or more of their commercial cruises. Other academy cadet shoreside training opportunities will be provided for cadets selected for service onboard the Suez LNG fleet.

Both the Union's Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) faculty and the Academy's faculty will work to produce LNG course material and advanced training sessions approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, IMO, and the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators.

The Academy will also develop course materials and provide instruction to supply a sufficient number of U.S. mariners to Suez LNG meet its agreement with the U.S. Maritime Administration. Under that agreement there will be 25% U.S. crews on up to three vessels delivering LNG to the Neptune Deepwater Port, located in Massachusetts Bay and 10% U.S. crew on up to six additional vessels that will be operating internationally).

Under the agreement, the manning percentages specified by the Maritime Administration deepwater port license agreement must be met by September 30, 2012.

The training of LNG officers/crew will take place at both the Academy and MITAGS based upon the needs and requirements of Suez LNG to man specific vessels.

The Maritime Administrator, Sean T. Connaughton said in Boston today, "This agreement represents sound public policy and opens up vital training and employment opportunities for U.S. mariners in the LNG industry. The Maritime Administration will continue to establish similar commitments with other deepwater port license applicants, maritime academies, and union training facilities to prepare our maritime workforce for service in an industry vital to the nation's economic and security needs."