SUEZ LNG NA LLC (SUEZ) announced that the LNG ship SUEZ Matthew has become the first liquefied natural gas(LNG) vessel in recent history calling on United States ports to begin utilizing U.S. mariners onboard. This development represents the early implementation of an agreement with MarAd to provide job opportunities for U.S. mariners on all SUEZ LNG NA vessels within the next five years.
SUEZ was the first company in the industry to enter into an agreement with the MarAd in December 2006 to assist in fulfilling its desire to create opportunities for U.S. mariners in LNG shipping, where the international (privately owned) LNG shipping fleet is growing at a rate of 15-20% per year. Today, all LNG ships worldwide are flagged under non-U.S. countries. SUEZ's ships, for example, are flagged under Norway and Spain. As a result, U.S.-licensed mariners have not been working on LNG vessels, and the U.S. shipping industry has not shared in this growing job market.
SUEZ pledged to the Maritime Administration that it would work to provide training opportunities for U.S. citizen officers and cadets and have ten percent of each existing LNG ship's crew consist of American mariners by the end of year 2012, as well as twenty-five percent of the crew of the new purpose-built ships traveling to the new Neptune offshore LNG terminal
also by year's end