MARAD REVIEWS SARGEANT MARINEÆS JONES ACT VESSEL REQUEST
The U.S. Maritime Administration is reviewing a request by Sargeant Marine to place one of its vessels temporarily in the coastal trade.
Sargeant Marine plans to use its U.S.-flag vessel, “Asphalt Commander” (formerly “Falcon Champion”), for six months in domestic waters, starting April 1. This trade is regulated by the Jones Act. The “Asphalt Commander,” built with construction-differential subsidy, requires MarAd’s permission to operate in Jones Act trades.
If permission is granted by the agency, Sargeant Marine would use the vessel to transport asphalt and No. 6 fuel oil from Texas to any port on the East Coast, Florida and Puerto Rico.
Sargeant Marine cited in its request the recent shortage in Venezuelan-produced asphalt that is often used by the U.S. Petroleum Administration for Defense District I, which is the East Coast. Other asphalt sources, such as Mexico and Spain, cannot make up for Venezuela’s shortfall, the carrier said.
Sargeant Marine’s request also said Florida has already begun to experience outages, which could delay road and housing construction.
MarAd will accept comments from the industry regarding Sargeant Marine’s request through March 27. Comments may be submitted in writing to the Docket Clerk, U.S. DOT Dockets, Room PL-401, 400 7th St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590, or by e-mail via http://dmses.dot.gov/submit.