SUEZ LNG NA LLC (SUEZ) announced today that the LNG ship SUEZ Matthew has become the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel in recent history calling on United States ports to begin utilizing U.S. mariners onboard. This development represents the early implementation of a groundbreaking agreement with the Maritime Administration to provide job opportunities for U.S. mariners on all SUEZ LNG NA vessels within the next five years.
SUEZ was the first company in the industry to enter into an agreement with the Maritime Administration in December 2006 to assist in fulfilling its desire to create opportunities for U.S. mariners in the burgeoning field of LNG shipping, where the international (privately owned) LNG shipping fleet is growing at a rate of 15-20% per year. Today, all LNG ships worldwide are flagged under non-U.S. countries. SUEZ's ships, for example, are flagged under Norway and Spain. As a result, U.S.-licensed mariners have not been working on LNG vessels, and the U.S. shipping industry has not shared in this growing job market.
"With ten percent of the crew of the LNG ship SUEZ Matthew now consisting of American mariners, SUEZ is extremely pleased to have achieved this milestone in an important public/private partnership with the Maritime Administration, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, and others," said Clay Harris, President and CEO of SUEZ LNG NA. "SUEZ has been a leader in the LNG shipping industry for years, and creating opportunities for professional U.S. mariners to train and serve on LNG vessels is a worthy shared goal. We moved swiftly to work with Mass. Maritime and Masters Mates and Pilots (MMP) both to enhance the training offered to cadets so that it would meet the requirements of the LNG trade, and to provide for them to get at-sea time as soon as possible so that they could get their license upon graduating."
"We appreciate SUEZ's leadership and commitment to fostering opportunities for American mariners," said Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator. "The rest of the industry is beginning to follow, and we hope it will represent an entirely new era of U.S. involvement in the LNG shipping trade."
SUEZ pledged to the Maritime Administration that it would work to provide training opportunities for U.S. citizen officers and cadets and have ten percent of each existing LNG ship's crew consist of American mariners by the end of year 2012, as well as twenty-five percent of the crew of the new purpose-built ships traveling to the new Neptune offshore LNG terminal also by year's end in 2012.
Based in Houston, SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. is the business unit of SUEZ Energy International responsible for managing SUEZ's positions within the energy value chain in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, including electricity generation and cogeneration, natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG), asset-based trading and origination, and retail energy sales and related services to commercial and industrial customers.
SUEZ Energy North America owns and/or operates a total of 47 power, cogeneration, steam, and chilled-water facilities, including those in construction, representing a capacity of more than 5,713 MW of electricity generation, 6.1 million pounds per hour of steam, and 42,649 tons per hour of chilled water. SUEZ Energy North America's wholly owned subsidiary, Distrigas of Massachusetts, owns and operates a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal in Everett, Mass., which began operations in 1971 and currently serves most of the gas utilities in New England and key power producers, meeting approximately 20 percent of New England's annual gas demand. In addition, SUEZ Energy North America has two LNG deepwater port projects under development off the coasts of Massachusetts and Florida.
SUEZ Energy International is a business line of SUEZ, which is an international industrial and services Group that employs 140,000 people worldwide.