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Seapath and Pilot LNG to develop first US East Coast dedicated LNG bunkering facility

Seapath and Pilot LNG have formed a joint venture to develop, construct, and operate the first dedicated liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering facility in the Galveston Bay area, on the US Gulf Coast.

With operations beginning in mid-2026, the construction of the $150 million-new facility will provide fuel for LNG-powered vessels.  Pilot and Seapath’s LNG bunkering facility will use their combined expertise to serve the needs of a vital global and US trade corridor.

The joint venture brings together Seapath a maritime subsidiary of Libra Group - a US-headquartered privately owned global business group and and Pilot LNG, a Houston-based clean energy solutions company.

This is the first in a series of planned investments by Seapath and Pilot to create a network of LNG facilities in areas of unmet need in the United States.

“Seapath is dedicated to investing across the marine infrastructure space and will provide strong financial backing to Pilot’s LNG bunker projects,” said Jonathan Cook, CEO of Pilot. “We look forward to working with Seapath in delivering this facility in a timely manner based on the extensive development work already completed. This project will meet the significant needs for LNG fuel, which also supports ongoing decarbonisation across the marine industry.”

Pilot and Seapath plan to continue ongoing front-end engineering and design development for the project in the third and fourth quarters of 2023 to file applications with the necessary federal and state agencies to permit, site, construct, and operate the small-scale LNG terminal for marine fuel.  Pilot and Seapath plan to announce the Final Investment Decision (FID) details of their project by the second half of 2024.

Seapath was formed responding to the need for critical investments in the US maritime economy -While LNG bunkering infrastructure has been developing overseas, US infrastructure supporting its uptake has been slower. In addition to this facility, the company plans to in innovative projects within maritime industrial facilities and US Jones Act vessels.

“The infrastructure under development will provide LNG to a growing market seeking cleaner marine fuel, particularly as customers look for economical ways to comply with tightening emissions regulations, including regulations set by the IMO in 2020,” said Seapath CEO Greg Otto. “Thanks to our partnership with Pilot, we look forward to developing more of these much-needed facilities in ports across the United States.”

According to Clarkson Research, alternative fuel powered vessels were approximately 60% of all new vessels ordered since 2022. Of these orders, roughly 80% are vessels powered by LNG, including by major cruise lines and operators of container vessels.

 Seapath is one of three maritime subsidiaries of Libra Group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in nearly 60 countries with six business sectors, including maritime and renewable energy. Libra’s other maritime holdings include Lomar Shipping, a global shipping company with a fleet of more than 40 vessels, and Americraft Marine, which owns and operates a Jones Act Shipyard in Palatka, Florida that constructs OSV, and tugboats and barges.

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