U.S. Department of Transportation Announces First Ships Enrolled in the Tanker Security Program
Creation of the program meets an urgent DOD need and grows the U.S.-flagged fleet
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced that nine ships have been enrolled in the Tanker Security Program (TSP). TSP establishes a fleet of active, commercially viable, militarily useful, privately owned product tank vessels of the United States that will meet national defense and other security requirements and maintain a United States presence in international commercial shipping.
The TSP will strengthen the U.S. supply chain and improve the movement of liquid fuel products while creating good-paying jobs. The TSP will also support American-owned, American-flagged, and American-crewed commercial product tankers operating in international commercial shipping. The program will ensure the Department of Defense (DoD) has assured access to critically needed product tankers capable of loading, transporting, and storing on-station bulk petroleum refined products to support national economic security.
“Today we are announcing the first ships to join the Tanker Security Program, which will help strengthen both our supply chains and our national security by delivering fuel to our armed forces around the world while creating hundreds of good jobs for American mariners,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“The TSP accomplishes two key maritime sealift objectives: it grows our U.S.-flagged fleet and it significantly expands our ability to deliver vital fuel supplies to support military missions across the globe,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips. “Implementation of the TSP is a significant milestone for MARAD and the U.S. maritime industry.”
The companies selected for enrollment are Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. (three tank vessels); Crowley-Stena Marine Solutions, LLC. (three tank vessels); and Seabulk Tankers, Inc. (three tank vessels).
All of the companies have signed operating agreements. Of the enrolled vessels, four are under U.S. flag and are now operating in the program, and five are working with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard to expedite reflagging to U.S. registry to begin operating under TSP agreements. Each tank vessel enrolled will receive a maximum $6 million per year payment, prorated on a monthly basis for qualified service as participants in the program. The vessels will operate in U.S. foreign commerce and be available for use by the United States during times of war or national emergency.
MARAD published a solicitation in the Federal Register on July 25, 2023, seeking applications for enrollment in TSP from qualified companies. The program is authorized for up to ten tankers and MARAD seeks to fill the remaining operating agreement with a qualified vessel. MARAD published notices in the Federal Register seeking applications for enrollment from qualified participants. To qualify for the program, proposed vessels have to qualify as Medium Range product tankers between 30,000-60,000 deadweight tons with fuel carrying capacity of 230,000 barrels or more be less than 10 years of age, and available to commit to an emergency preparedness agreement for the duration of the program’s authorization. All vessel operators selected for the TSP are required to be enrolled in MARAD’s sexual assault and sexual harassment prevention and response policy program Every Mariner Builds A Respectful Culture (EMBARC).
Additional information and point of contact information for the Tanker Security Program can be found here.