Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 1:43 PM on Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kachemak Bay offers LNG tanker safe harbor


Photographer: Michael Armstrong, Homer News

LNG Gemini

The LNG Gemini, a 285-foot liquid natural gas tanker, left Kachemak Bay on Tuesday after arriving July 18; it was waiting to receive LNG cargo at the ConocoPhillips facility in Nikiski before continuing on for Japan, said Mike Spangler, ConocoPhillips operations manager for Cook Inlet.

Its lengthy stay was due to "working the schedule between Japan, the tides and here," said Spangler. The ship departed the bay earlier this week.

Vessels remaining in the bay longer than 14 days must have a permit "so we don't have one vessel moored in public lands for all summer that possibly could use up good moorage locations," said Ginny Litchfield, the habitat biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Habitat Division, who worked with ConocoPhillips to complete the permit. Litchfield said there didn't appear to be any environmental issues connected with this ship.

Kachemak Bay provides the only safe harbor in Cook Inlet, which is why the ship was at anchor in the bay until it could proceed to Nikiski. "It's important for people to remember that shipping is managed," said Homer Harbormaster Bryan Hawkins.