US-based Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP) has bagged a prime site for its planned LNG production facility that will be focused on supply to the marine market.

GLBP, a joint venture between Seapath and Pilot LNG, has signed a lease agreement with Texas City for 140 acres of land of “prime deep-water marine industrial real estate” on Shoal Point in Galveston County, Texas.

The would-be marine bunkering company said the site is adjacent to the Texas City Ship Channel and near the maritime centres of Texas City, Galveston and Houston.

The project as designed is for a two-train and two-tank facility producing 600,000 gallons per day of LNG.

Under a first phase, it is expected to produce 300,000 gallons per day of LNG for sale into the marine bunker fuel market in the Galveston Bay and Western Gulf of Mexico region.

GLBP estimates it will file applications with the necessary federal and state agencies to permit, construct and operate the small-scale LNG terminal for marine fuel in early 2024.

Pilot chief executive Jonathan Cook told TradeWinds the jetty at the new terminal will be able to accommodate LNG bunker barges and vessels of between 2,200 cbm and 20,000 cbm.

He said GBLP will sell most of the LNG produced on a term basis but also offer some spot volumes.

“We intend to sell most of the LNG as bunker fuel for the marine market,” he said.

Pilot and Seapath said they anticipate taking a final investment decision on the GLBP project in the second half of this year with operations at the new plant scheduled to start in late 2026.

A raft of LNG dual-fuelled newbuildings destined for global trading are due to emerge from 2025 and into 2026, many of which have yet to fix the supply of any planned LNG bunkers.

Pilot and Seapath — a Libra Group subsidiary — teamed up to form GLBP in September to develop, construct and operate what the companies describe as the US Gulf Coast’s first dedicated facility supporting the fuelling of LNG-powered vessels.

Since the two hooked up on the project, GLBP has been assembling a team of advisers and is continuing ongoing front-end engineering and design development for the project.

Cook said the new site’s “strategic location and proximity to the key ports of Texas City, Galveston and Houston is critical in ensuring the successful delivery of this LNG marine fuels project”.

Texas City Mayor Dedrick Johnson said: “Texas City is excited to be partnering with GLBP to develop Shoal Point. Shoal Point and Texas City are an integral part of the maritime economy both in the state of Texas and throughout the US.”