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Firms expressing interest in  providing LNG fueling solutions

Companies interested in providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling solutions to The Bahamas have been expressing interest to the government, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister confirmed yesterday, telling Guardian Business that the government had a “wonderful” meeting recently with Eagle LNG.

This paper understands that New Fortress could still be interested in the energy sector in The Bahamas, but Bannister said he has not heard from the company recently.

Bannister said those companies are not necessarily in direct competition with Shell North America, which has a deal with Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) to operate a power plant at Clifton Pier that will eventually be powered by LNG.

“Shell has an agreement with BPL, but there are lots of other opportunities and some of those companies are looking at those potential opportunities for the Family Islands… I know Eagle is, but I haven’t heard from New Fortress in about a year, so I don’t know what their interests are,” said Bannister.

“But, there are many opportunities throughout The Bahamas and those companies have been expressing interest in investing in them.

“The government will be looking at opportunities that are available for any company that is interested in investing in The Bahamas, once they present the appropriate proposals and we have the safety regimes in place.”

Eagle LNG’s website explains that the company “develops LNG fueling solutions of all scales and scopes and serves as a leader in the field of utilizing LNG for a range of industrial applications”.

“This means you can expect a powerful partnership that puts you on the path toward a lower cost, smarter, safer and cleaner energy future,” the company’s website states.

“With technological advancements in production, natural gas is now an abundant domestic resource. It’s also the future of sustainability in which natural gas will transform the way we think about our energy needs…and the way those needs impact our world.”

At the end of the Progressive Liberal Party’s (PLP) time in office and in the run up to the 2017 general election, the party was close to brokering a deal with New Fortress Energy to bring LNG to The Bahamas.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and now Leader of the Opposition Philip Brave Davis said last year that the LNG deal would have prepared this country to have an LNG terminal which could refuel contemporary cruise ships and cruise ships of the future, which will be required to be outfitted or retrofitted with engines that burn LNG instead of diesel or heavy fuel oil.

LNG is a cleaner burning fuel and the fuel that most cruise ships being built now will burn.

Grand Bahama is being looked at as a refueling point in The Bahamas for ships that burn LNG, while the Arawak Port Development Ltd. is also toying with the idea of LNG distribution, as the Port of Nassau is prepared to handle more ships and the ships of the future.

The seven multi-fuel engines that will eventually burn LNG to power New Providence are on their way to Clifton Pier and should be installed by the end of summer. Until The Bahamas has the regimes in place to handle LNG, the new engines will burn the cheap but dirty, heavy fuel oil.

 

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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