The United States Maritime Resource Center is pleased to announce that its training partner, Harvey Gulf International Marine, recently launched the PSV Harvey Energy, the first LNG-fueled vessel to enter service in North America. In March, the PSV Harvey Energy began working on charter to Shell in the Gulf of Mexico shortly after the vessel’s first successful LNG bunkering operation.

Middletown, R.I.-based USMRC developed the LNG bunkering safety training course for Harvey Gulf in 2014 as it prepared to launch its first dual fuel offshore supply vessel.

“The United States Maritime Resource Center, through its Maritime Simulation Institute, was a key contributor to this historical maritime event by virtue of the close working relationship we have with them for LNG fuels training,” said Chad Verret, Harvey Gulf’s Executive Vice President – Alaska and LNG Operations. “The LNG bunkering course that USMRC provides to Harvey Gulf marine personnel is exceptional. The innovative training ensures our mariners are prepared to the highest standards and enables our crew to play a critical role in the safe operations of our fleet.”

USMRC/MSI is the first organization in the United States to offer a five-day advanced training program for personnel serving on vessels using gas fuels that have direct responsibility for the care and use of LNG fuel and the gas fuel systems. The course pre-dates the establishment of U.S. Coast Guard regulations governing LNG bunkering, and even the release of policy guidance letters. USMRC is also in the final stages of developing a basic LNG fuels course for other mariners working aboard these vessels that have designated safety and emergency response duties associated with the handling of LNG marine fuels.

“USMRC’s LNG Bunkering PIC (Person in Charge) course is unique in that it offers practical demonstrations, exercises and assessments using a high fidelity LNG bunkering system simulation tool based on the Wärtsilä LNGPac system,” said USMRC President Brian T. Holden. “This is the same system that will be installed on Harvey Gulf’s LNG fueled vessels.”

Another practical component of the course is that students also must complete a full day of LNG emergency response and firefighting course at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. Participants don a complete fireman’s outfit and employ various techniques for vapor control and fire extinguishing using actual LNG cryogenic material in intensive scenarios, including LNG pool and flange fires.

“The hands-on parts of the LNG bunkering training at USMRC provide a true test for our mariners under a range of normal, unusual and emergency operating conditions – they really have to prove themselves,” Verret said. “USMRC is clearly at the forefront of LNG bunkering training. There is no other course like this in the Americas and it already meets or exceeds current guidance from the U.S. Coast Guard and the draft IMO standards.”

USMRC is offering four courses in 2015, each with 24 slots. The April 20-24 course is already filled. Other 2015 course dates are: June 15-19, September 14-18 and November 16-20. For further information on our LNG training programs, please contact Brian Holden at +1 (401) 849 0265 ext. 212 or via email Brian.Holden@MARSIM.org 

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