LNG Carrier Loses Power off Alaska

A 908-foot, Belgium-flagged liquid natural gas carrier (LNG) was stuck in Homer, Alaska for almost five days due to propulsion loss, the US Coast Guard said.

The vessel experienced a loss of propulsion due to a failed engineering gasket while inbound to Cook Inlet Monday, April 28th.  As a result, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage issued an order for the vessel to remain anchored in Kachemak Bay.

The 2003-built Excel, managed and owned by Belgian Exmar, was examined by Coast Guard inspectors from Marine Safety Detachment Homer, Tuesday, who conducted a Port State Control annual exam and verified the engineering gasket was replaced.

While preparing to get underway Wednesday, the vessel experienced an automated engineering casualty and canceled its voyage until a Bureau Veritas (BV) classification surveyor could arrive and verify the engineering casualty was fully resolved.

After arriving aboard the vessel, the class surveyor directed the vessel’s crew to test the automated engineering system and deduced that the casualty was a product of a faulty engine order telegraph; a device used on ships for the pilot on the bridge to order engineers in the engine room to power the vessel at a certain desired speed. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage issued another order for the vessel to remain in Kachemak Bay.

On Friday, May 1st, the vessel was allowed to continue sailing to her destination at the ConocoPhilips LNG plant in Nikiski after additional safety measures were implemented. As part of the safety measures, the tug Stellar Wind escorted the vessel from Kachemack Bay to Nikiski and a second tug, the Glacier Wind, stood by in Nikiski to assist with docking operations, the Coast Guard informed.

The Excel completed her voyage and safely moored at the ConocoPhilips pier in Nikiski at approximately noon Friday where it remains until permanent repairs are verified by the class surveyor and Coast Guard inspectors.