New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf International Marine (HGIM) announced Friday that construction on the $25 million first phase of its LNG fueling facility had begun.

When operational later this year, HGIM’s LNG facility in Port Fourchon, La. terminal will be the first of its kind in the U.S., Harvey Gulf said. This technologically advanced and environmentally-safe clean energy facility will be a vital addition to the growing national LNG supply infrastructure. It will support critical operations of the oil and gas industry’s offshore service vessel fleet as well as over-the-road vehicles operating on clean LNG.

"Today’s milestone represents another significant step in the path for Harvey Gulf to establish itself as the nation’s leader in utilizing LNG as a marine fuel," said CEO Shane Guidry. "HGIM is investing $350 million in the construction of an LNG-operated fleet. The dual fuel vessels and our LNG facility further expand HGIM’s commitment to develop and utilize the safest, most environmentally friendly vessels and fuel technology available today. This fleet and facility signify a strong partnership between Louisiana, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Coast Guard and Harvey Gulf with a common goal of leading our nation down the path of clean energy use and strengthening America’s future of energy independence.”

HGIM selected Lockheed Martin Michoud Facility for the construction of the facility LNG storage tanks further expanding on their participation in the dual-fuel vessel construction program. HGIM contracted CH-IV International, Houston, as the FEED (front end engineering design) and EPC (engineering procurement construction) contractor and Matrix PDM Engineering, Pittsburgh, for detail design and engineering. Civil engineering services are being provided by Carubba Engineering, Metairie, La.

The LNG facility will consist of two sites that have 270,000 gals. of LNG storage capacity. The LNG tanks will be of stainless steel, Type ‘C’ construction. Each facility will be able to transfer 500 gals. of LNG per minute. Harvey Gulf estimates that the LNG facility will create 70 new full-time jobs and another 120 jobs to handle its Port Fourchon operations and fleet of LNG vessels.