JAX LNG and TOTE complete first renewable LNG bunkering in U.S.

Written by Nick Blenkey
Containership woth LNG bunkering barge

First renewable natural gas vessel fueling in U.S. saw world’s first LNG fueled containership supplied with RNG by first U.S.-built LNG bunkering vessel. [Image: Port of Jacksonville]

JAX LNG, a small-scale LNG facility located along the St. John’s River in Jacksonville, Fla., recently completed the first fueling of a marine vessel in the United States with a blend of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable liquefied natural gas (RLNG). JAX LNG loaded the RLNG/LNG blend into the Clean Jacksonville bunker barge to fuel the Isla Bella.

Delivered in 2018 by Conrad Shipyard, the Clean Jacksonville is America’s first LNG bunkering vessel. Built by GD-NASSCO, Isla Bella is the world’s first LNG-powered container ship and was put into service by TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico in 2015.

Element Markets supplied the renewable natural gas (RNG) used to produce the RLNG via renewable thermal certificates (RTCs).

Produced from the decomposition of organic waste, RNG is compatible with existing natural gas infrastructure, providing a practical and replicable source of energy that mitigates and repurposes carbon emissions. For this bunkering event, RTCs were matched to the physical LNG loaded into the Clean Jacksonville to create the RLNG/LNG blended product.

JAX LNG is the long-term supplier to the two LNG-fueled container vessels—the Isla Bella and the Perla del Caribe—that TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico operates between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico.

“We’re proud to partner with JAX LNG, which has continued to solidify its position as the industry leader in the clean fuel revolution,” said Mike Noone, president of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico. “RNG is a clean, drop-in fuel source that can be readily deployed for use today, since it needs no new equipment to capture or transport it.”

“We are always looking for ways to meet the energy needs of our customers and help them reduce their environmental footprint,” said Roger Williams, VP Commercial LNG and Gas Development at BHE GT&S, the parent company of Pivotal LNG, which holds 50% ownership of JAX LNG. “TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico has always been at the forefront of the shipping industry in that regard. We are proud that this RLNG bunkering event can serve as an example of what is possible in the realm of renewable natural gas and look to further expand on this success.”

“Providing our customers an environmentally beneficial fuel source is JAX LNG’s goal,” said Tim Casey, SVP of NorthStar Midstream, which shares 50% ownership of JAX LNG. “Supplying LNG sourced from RNG further supports our commitment to aid the shipping industry’s transition to a net-zero emissions future.”

“RNG offers highly flexible pathways to reducing transportation emissions. We are glad to be part of these forward-thinking initiatives to decarbonize large-scale logistics operations,” said Angela Schwarz, Co-President and CEO of Element Markets.

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