The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced that nine ships have been enrolled in the Tanker Security Program (TSP).
Tanker Security Program
In a statement issued on 25 July, the DOT said that the TSP established a fleet of privately-owned product tank vessels ‘capable of loading, transporting, and storing on-station bulk petroleum refined products to support national economic security’.
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg commented: ‘Today we are announcing the first ships to join the Tanker Security Program, which will help strengthen both our supply chains and our national security by delivering fuel to our armed forces around the world while creating hundreds of good jobs for American mariners.’
Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips added: ‘The TSP accomplishes two key maritime sealift objectives: it grows our U.S.-flagged fleet, and it significantly expands our ability to deliver vital fuel supplies to support military missions across the globe.’
The companies selected for enrolment in the TSP include Overseas Shipholding Group, Crowley-Stena Marine Solutions and Seabulk Tankers. Each company will be providing three tankers.
All of the companies have signed operating agreements. Of the enrolled vessels, four are under US flag and are now operating in the TSP, and five are working with the US Coast Guard to expedite reflagging to US registry to begin operating under TSP agreements. Each tanker enrolled will receive a maximum $6 million per year payment, prorated monthly for qualified service as participants in the TSP. The vessels will be available for use by the United States during times of war or national emergency.
To qualify for the TSP, proposed vessels have to qualify as Medium Range product tankers between 30,000-60,000 deadweight tons with fuel carrying capacity of 230,000 barrels or more, be less than 10 years of age, and available to commit to an emergency preparedness agreement for the duration of the TSP’s authorisation.
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Source: US DoT