US shipyards salivate at prospect of building 100 LNG carriers

American shipyards could receive the biggest fillip in more than a generation if Washington insists all shale gas is moved on Jones Act ships. A new report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggests the US would need to build at least 100 LNG carriers to ship gas overseas.

Congress will debate soon whether or not LNG exports will need to be shipped on US-flagged vessels, something that would also require up to 5,200 American seafarers.

“Based on GAO analysis, these costs would increase the cost of transporting LNG from the United States, decrease the competitiveness of US LNG in the world market, and may, in turn, reduce demand for US LNG,” the GAO said in its report.

The last time an American shipyard built an LNG carrier was nearly 40 years ago.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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