Paul Hall Center Conducts LNG Course


August 2015


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Instructors at the union-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education recently taught a new class titled Basic Low Flash Point Fuel Operations, in order to stay at the forefront of new technologies in maritime propulsion. The four-day class, which was made available upon the request of SIU-contracted TOTE Inc., was taught by Paul Hall instructors Brad Wheeler and Charles Noell III, and it focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Wheeler said the course’s objective “is to meet the training requirements for liquefied gas dual-fuel fired vessels and personnel who may have a part to play in the fueling or emergencies involved with a vessel carrying dual-fuel as outlined in the International Gas Forum code.”


LNG has been used as an alternative fuel source for many years, but has only recently begun to see applications as a marine fuel. It is cleaner and more efficient than regular bunker fuel.


Wheeler added, “The other (related) course we teach is Liquefied Gas (LG) Tanker Familiarization. This course is for mariners that will be employed on vessels carrying LG as cargo and gives basic knowledge of LG tankship cargoes, operations, and emergency procedures.”


The recent hands-on course also included LNG firefighting, which requires specific equipment and techniques that differ from the standard firefighting course taught at the Joseph Sacco Firefighting School as part of every student’s curriculum.


“We had 19 students attend the class from all three departments,” Wheeler said. ”All but one of the students had worked for TOTE. The one exception in the class was a student that had worked for Crowley who is currently halfway through the AB-to-Mate program. He enrolled so that he could be ahead of the curve, knowing Crowley has its second dual fuel ship coming online.”


That student, Emmanuel Wilson, sails as an AB and has been an SIU member since 2002. He said he found the class “very informative. This is the future of our industry, so I think it’s imperative that mariners are educated on not only the dangers but the benefits of using a clean product for the environment. I think it’s a very good course. It was very well-organized.”


This is not the first instance of the Piney Point, Maryland, school getting out in front of an expanding market. According to the May 1976 issue of the Seafarers LOG, the Paul Hall Center, then known as the Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship, instituted a rigorous LNG training program to be used on ships transporting LNG. Almost 40 years later, a new generation of Seafarers is now receiving a very different type of LNG training, as American mariners continue to stay ahead of technological advances in marine shipping and transport.


The sentiments originally expressed on LNG carrier training can be applied to this new dual-fuel course. As stated in the May 1976 LOG, “LNG tankers have been called the energy carriers of the future. That future is almost here and Seafarers will be among the few professional seamen ready for it because they have a facility like Lundeberg School to help keep their skills up-to-date and their jobs secure.”



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