Jacksonville Prime Area for Jobs in Liquefied Natural Gas

Article excerpt

Byline: Candace Moody

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been making quite a splash in Jacksonville lately. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. plans to build a terminal to supply LNG to cargo ships in Jacksonville, the first of its type in the nation. The plant will be built on Jacksonville's Northside, on Zoo Parkway, and is expected to be completed in 2015. This would be the first LNG facility on the Eastern Seaboard to specifically supply LNG for the maritime, trucking and rail industries.

According to the Center for Liquefied Gas, liquefied natural gas is natural gas that is cooled to -260 Fahrenheit until it becomes a liquid. Converting natural gas to LNG reduces its volume by about 600 times - essentially, from the volume of a beach ball to the volume of a Ping-Pong ball - making it feasible to transport it via cargo ships. Once delivered to its destination, it's warmed up so that it returns to its original gaseous state.

Natural gas is the fastest-growing fuel sector in the U.S. today, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Natural gas is used to heat and cool more than half of all American homes and power 23 percent of the nation's electricity. Two local shipping companies are prepared to add LNG to their cargo capabilities over the next two years, and Jacksonville is being touted as the leader in LNG distribution.

PROMISING FORECAST

According to a 2013 study commissioned by The American Petroleum Institute, LNG exports are expected to generate up to 665,000 new jobs nationally by 2035. …