LNG Terminal Planned for Mississippi River at Port Gibson; 25,000+ jobs?

Click for WJTV-TV report

PORT GIBSON, Miss  (WJTV-TV Jackson) – Along the Mississippi River in Claiborne County, new industries are moving in to build up ports and open the area to global trade. One natural gas company is just one month away from breaking ground.

In 2017 President Trump’s tax cuts and jobs act created “opportunity zones” for economically distressed areas like Claiborne County giving tax benefits for companies who invest in them. In Port Gibson, Hesco Energy is answering the call.

“We are ready to turn some dirt and start construction on the project,” Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves said.

Along with Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves, people of the town gathered at the community meeting eager to learn about the company Hesco Energy opening a plant in their area.

“I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve seen it go from a viable city,” Port Gibson local William May said. “Where you couldn’t find a parking spot on Saturdays and Fridays. Now you don’t even have a vehicle sitting on Main Street.”

Hesco’s plan is to open a 6,400-acre plant to produce and sell Liquified Natural Gas to power ships and plants around the nation. Totaling around 30,000 new jobs (sic).

“We will first look locally before we look outside of Claiborne County,” Hesco CEO Monte Burton said. “With that, we’ll have training programs with Alcorn State, also Hinds Community College so that we can really help the people here have the shot at creating these jobs.”

Liquified Natural Gas also known as LNG is a fuel source odorless, non-toxic, and cooled at -260 degrees. Positioned on the Mississippi it opens up Port Gibson to global trade.

“We can go worldwide,” Hesco marketing Operator Hernando Cruz explained. “We’re going to be concentrating in the Carribean at Puerto Rico as a hub to deliver fuels.”

Representatives from Claiborne County schools were also in attendance learning as Hesco builds up, the future of students will rise with more funding and education opportunities.

“He did talk about building new schools, viewing our schools, and talked about technology,” School Board President Jacquelied Jones said. “So we can get better things done for our children.”

Also in attendance at the meeting was the President of Alcorn State University to see how she could get the school involved for students who want to go into the natural gas field. And members from the Louisiana governors office to see how this could bring back an old ferry business that was right on the river.

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Congratulations to Port Gibson and success to Hesco Energy.  The company looks to fill an LNG niche that gets little media attention.  LNG as a marine fuel will be a growing market.

Positive news for a change; this area needs a shot in the arm!  Job opportunities for the Gulf Coast and exporting a little more natural gas is a good thing.

The major LNG terminals get 99% of the media attention and obscures the fact that within the LNG space there are other niches.  Hesco is targeting two.  Marine fuel and small import markets such as islands in the Caribbean.  World marine laws have changed to prohibit high sulphur content bunker fuel.  Owing to the newness of the regulations and the low of supply for bunker fuel that meets the new regs (and is more costly) shipping companies are looking at LNG as a more economic fuel option.

How will the LNG be transported from Port Gibson?

In LNG ships, just like from the major export facilities, however the ships may be smaller.  I have not run across a detailed explanation of how ships that use LNG as fuel will be refueled.  I could be directly at the main facility, at satellite facilities near commercial shipping lanes or by way of cryogenic tanks that can be picked up and dropped off at harbor locations.

The LNG as bunker fuel is in its early stages.  There has been little written about it in the maritime or LNG covering media.  The little I have run across reports that LNG will replace high sulphur oil as the primary bunker fuel.  Here is a link to a website for those who would like to know more.

https://www.klawlng.com/lng-applications/lng-vessel-bunkering/

It will be interesting to see how transport is accomplished.  Unless something has changed without my knowing of it, the old bridge in Baton Rouge will severely limit the size of ships going under it.  I remember when a hydro-electric generating plant was brought up the River and the barge had to be partially submerged to get under the bridge.  Technology can change even what happens on the River.

Charles, those who know history have been told that Huey had the B.R. bridge built there for that very reason.

I have heard that time and time again.  It is part of the lore of the Longs!

I think that the LNG ships servicing Hesco will be considerably smaller.  I feel sure Hesco took the bridge height into consideration. 

Skip:

Also, barges.  An established carrier vessel in other parts of the country for this particular purpose.

Flyer - Renderings pp. 4-6

Cool.  Thanks, Dion.

Oh ships can get under the old Huey P. Long bridge at Baton Rouge without a problem.  But getting by the John J. Audubon Bridge between New Roads, and St Francisville is a big problem.  I doubt any ship will get past that bridge especially at high water times.  And how are they going to get by Natchez bridges.  So yes, how are they going to get LNG shipped out of Port Gibson?  It will have to be by pipeline, by truck or by barge but not ocean going ships.  They of course can build a terminal elsewhere down river or even in the Gulf of Mexico - just gotta get the LNG from Port Gibson to the terminal.  Methinks overseas is not the target market but old coal fired electrical plants up and down the Mississippi River system.  Barges can reach up the Ohio, so there is a big market for the LNG in the US.

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