Florida Bulldog reports on LNG exports right now from Fortress Energy’s Hialeah plant through Port Everglades via Florida East Coast Railway (FECR) through densely populated neighborhoods. The larger story includes FECR can export via Crowley Maritime from Jacksonville, and Pivotal LNG is already exporting LNG from Alabama and Georgia through JAX, arriving via truck down I-75 and I-10. Plus offshoot pipelines from Sabal Trail already go to both Jacksonville and Riviera Beach. Why should we let these corporations cash in on fracked methane now that solar power is already here?
An LNG export ship fueled by LNG. Image: Crowley Maritime; “An artist’s rendering of one of Crowley’s LNGfueled, combination container and roll-on/roll-off (ConRo) ships—El Coqui slated for delivery in 2017.”
Ann Henson Feltgen, Florida Bulldog.org, 22 August 2018, Despite ‘disaster risk,’ trains haul hazardous gas cargo in South Florida,
About the same time Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) executives were convincing Florida’s east coast cities and counties to back its idea of privately owned passenger trains traversing downtowns and densely populated neighborhoods, it quietly sought and won permission to haul extremely flammable liquified natural gas along the same tracks.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a hazardous material that had never been transported by railroad in the continental United States, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, which provides permits for LNG transportation.
The FEC began transporting LNG for profit last year. In South Florida, that includes tracks from its affiliated Hialeah Rail Yard LNG supply terminal in Medley to PortMiami and to Port Everglades for commercial export. Some of that track is also used by Brightline, the intercity passenger railroad operated by FEC subsidiary All Aboard Florida.
In the first six months of 2018, FEC transported 148.7 million cubic feet of LNG from Hialeah Yard to Port Everglades bound for Grand Bahama Island or Barbados, according to U.S. Department of Energy records. No LNG was shipped out of PortMiami during the same period….
To Bahamas or Barbados is clearly LNG export, unlike Puerto Rico.
FEC’s plunge into LNG transport expresses the vision of former CEO James Hertwig, who described his hopes for commercial exploitation in a 2015 briefing for stock analysts.
As reported by American Shipper Magazine, Hertwig noted the Caribbean’s need for LNG due to the high cost of electricity.
For lower electricity cost, use solar power and batteries.
“I think you’ll see the laws change where you can ship [LNG] to the entire Caribbean. When that happens, we see hauling these 10,000 gallon ISO [intermodal] containers, double-stacked” to ports in Jacksonville, Everglades or Miami, where they will be put on vessels” for export.
The laws don’t actually need to change for that to happen. I’m disappointed Florida Bulldog edited that quote without […marking the edit…]. That sentence actually ends: Eric Kulisch, American Shipper, 25 November 2015, Florida’s freight railroad: FEC Railway is a growing short-line that’s not short on innovation.
…where they will be put on vessels operated by carriers such as Crowley Maritime Corp. or Sea Star, Chief Executive Officer James Hertwig said in a November 2014 briefing for stock analysts and media members on a private dining car.
That American Shipper article has much more about Crowley Maritime, including that Crowley delivered its first LNG in September 2014, to a Coca-Cola bottler in Puerto Rico. Here’s Crowley’s own article about that bottler. Amelia P. Smith, Crowley, apparently late in 2014, Engineering Energy Solutions that Reduce Costs and Emissions: Crowley offers one Puerto Rico customer unexpected energy and cost savings and total supply-chain solutions in support of their conversion to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel source.
That Crowley article never mentions solar power, which is much cleaner that fracked methane, and can be produced locally.
The Crowley ship El Coqui pictured at the top of that Crowley article and at the top of this blog post has been delivered. Press Release, Crowley Maritime, 20 July 2018, Crowley Takes Delivery of First LNG-Powered ConRo Ship Serving Puerto Rico. That PR brags about the ship being LNG-fueled, but never mentions that it is for LNG export.
The AS article has a sentence about Crowley’s pharmaceutical company customer in Puerto Rico. Crowley wrote 13 February 2018 that Crowley and Pivotal LNG have signed a second agreement to deliver gas to the Puerto Rico pharma company.
The AS article continues:
Carib Energy buys its gas from Pivotal LNG, which has six facilities in the Southeast, and Crowley’s logistics team coordinates over-the-road transportation to the company’s Jacksonville terminal, where the containers are loaded onto company-owned vessels, Vice President Greg Buffington said. At the destination port, an on-site logistics team delivers the LNG to the customer’s facility, where it is regasified into pipeline natural gas for boiler consumption.
That’s three Pivotal LNG plants in Georgia, one in Alabama, and one in Tennessee, all now owned by Southern Company as part of Southern Company Gas. Which also owns that AGL pipeline that supplied the gas to last Friday’s Homerville, GA explosion that hospitalized three women with third-degree burns, demolished a business, and closed downtown for a day.
Carib Energy has small-scale export licenses from the U.S. Department of Energy for LNG transport and distribution to the Caribbean and Central and South America. The licensing permits Crowley to export 14.6 billion cubic feet of LNG—roughly the equivalent of 480,000 gallons—per day via ISO tanks, but approvals are on a case-by-case basis except for the Dominican Republic. LNG is exported in tank containers to markets that do not justify, or cannot receive, large tanker ships.
LNG is also exported in containers to make it easier to ship to ports from liquefaction plants by truck or rail. Let’s not forget Strom, Inc., authorized in Crystal River at the end of Sabal Trail’s Citrus County lateral, with plans to export to Latin America, presumably through ports such as Jacksonville, getting there either by truck or via FECR.
Back to the American Shipper article:
Buffington didn’t rule out the possibility of making future purchases from New Fortress Energy if enough LNG is available and it’s cost-competitive.
The American Shipper article goes on for some length about LNG fueling ships, other commodities, and facilities at Port Everglades, including:
Port Everglades last summer received federal approval to move ahead with plans for deepening the navigation channel to 48 feet. In the meantime, work is underway to extend the turning notch for ships, which will allow for up to five new cargo berths.
Isn’t that convenient for LNG export. Kind of like Jacksonville channel dredging, or Savannah.
WWALS member Cecile Scofield of Martin County, Florida supplied much of the information in the Florida Bulldog article, and she continues researching much more.
Let’s not forget FPL already built a pipeline extending Sabal Trail and FSC to Port Riviera, and FERC approved and Kinder Morgan (KMI) already built the Jacksonville Expansion Project (JEP) of Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) from Sabal Trail in Suwannee County to Jacksonville. There, Eagle LNG is still in FERC permitting, but Eagle Maxville LNG is already authorized by U.S. DoE Office of Fossil Energy (FE), and already built. This appears to be an example of even though FERC permitting is pretty bad, FE is even worse.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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