The facility is expected to start operations in mid-2026.

By Shardul Sharma

Seapath, a maritime subsidiary of Libra Group, and Pilot LNG, a Houston-based clean energy solutions company, have formed a joint venture to develop an LNG bunkering facility in the Galveston Bay area on the US Gulf Coast, the companies announced on September 28.

The facility will have an initial investment of approximately $150mn and is expected to start operations in mid-2026. It will be the first dedicated LNG bunkering facility in the Galveston Bay area. According to Pilot’s website, the Galveston LNG bunker port will have a capacity of 300,000 gallons/day of LNG.

Pilot LNG aims to deliver LNG to new and existing markets across the US, including fuel/bunkering terminals and related infrastructure. This is the first in a series of planned strategic investments by Seapath and Pilot to create a network of LNG facilities in areas of unmet need in the US, the companies stated.

The companies said that the infrastructure under development will provide LNG to a growing market seeking cleaner marine fuel. This is particularly important as customers look for economical ways to comply with tightening emissions regulations, including regulations set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2020.

Pilot and Seapath plan to continue their ongoing front-end engineering and design development for their projects in the third and fourth quarters of 2023. They will then 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 anticipate announcing the final investment decision details of their project by the second half of 2024.