This year marks the 60th anniversary of America’s first trans-Atlantic transport of liquefied natural gas — and it took place in Southwest Louisiana.
The MV Methane Pioneer left Lake Charles on June 1, 1959, and arrived 15 days later at the Canvey Island Import Terminal in the United Kingdom. The journey was an early step in the Port-facilitated Calcasieu Ship Channel becoming the global LNG courier that it is today.
Compare that ship — in size and capacity — to the ones used today, 60 years after a local achievement launched a worldwide trade element.
The historical research on the milestone was compiled by nationally known energy expert Howard Candelet of Parallax Services.
The pioneer shipment is just one example of how the Port and Ship Channel have long been every cargo kings.
Today, 85 percent of tonnage shipped on the Calcasieu Ship Channel is energy cargo. That’s why the Channel is America’s emerging Energy Corridor.
- The Channel carries 7.5 percent of the nation’s daily oil consumption.
- The Channel is home to the nation’s sixth-largest refinery.
- More than 600 LNG ships have safely and efficiently transited the Channel.
- The Port of Lake Charles has pilots that are highly trained and experienced in handling LNG vessels.
- More than 1,000 deep-draft vessels travel on the Channel annually.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains the Channel; dredging is funded in the Federal budget; and an active Harbor Safety Committee works with the Coast Guard to ensure safe, efficient navigation.