MARAD enrolls first nine ships in New Tanker Safety Program Ship’s crew

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) of the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the enlistment of the first nine ships into the 10-ship Tanker Security Program (TSP), which is developing a fleet of active, commercially viable and privately owned U.S.-flagged product tankers to meet the needs of the National Defense and other Departments of Defense.

According to MARAD, the program will help strengthen the U.S. supply chain, improve transportation of liquid fuel products, and support American-owned, flagged, and crewed commercial product tankers engaged in international merchant shipping.

The companies selected for registration are Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc., Crowley-Stena Marine Solutions, LLC. and Seabulk Tankers, Inc., which will each contribute three tankers.

One of the three Crowley-Stena tankers is the Stena immaculate, Stena imperativeAnd Stena perfect. The company is a joint venture between Crowley and Stena Bulk USA. OSG previously announced its three tankers as medium-range tankers Overseas Santorini, Overseas MykonosAnd Overseas Sun Coast.

Each tanker participating in the program will receive an annual stipend of up to $6 million for their participation. According to MARAD, four US-flagged vessels are already participating in the program, while five others are working with the Coast Guard to convert the flag to the US registry and join the program.

“The TSP achieves two important goals for maritime maritime transport: It increases our U.S.-flagged fleet and greatly expands our ability to provide vital fuel supplies in support of military missions around the world,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “The implementation of the TSP is a significant milestone for MARAD and the US shipping industry.”

The tanker security program has been approved as a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2021. The ten-vessel program is expected to continue through 2035, but the funds must be approved by Congress each year.

MARAD published a tender in federal register In July, qualified companies will be invited to apply for the program, which is approved for up to ten tankers. The remainder of the Operating Arrangement remains open to a qualifying vessel and MARAD has posted notices in the Federal Register requesting further applications.

To be eligible for the program, vessels must be medium-range product tankers of 30,000 to 60,000 deadweight tons and have a fuel capacity of 230,000 barrels or more, be less than 10 years old and be willing to enter into an emergency preparedness arrangement for the duration of the program.

Vessel operators participating in the Tanker Safety Program are also required to participate in the MARAD Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention Program known as EMBARC (short for “Every Mariner Builds a Respectful Culture”).

“TSP was created to provide a fleet of active, commercially viable, militarily useful, privately owned U.S. flag product tankers that trade internationally outside of traditional Jones Act trades,” said Sam Norton, CEO of OSG, previously. “With the launch of the TSP, the Department of Defense will have access to an expanded pool of U.S.-flagged tankers operating worldwide, enabling dedicated, reliable and loyal fuel transportation to the U.S. military in times of national crises, rather than relying on transportation by foreign-flagged vessels.”

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