Over the past year, American Roll-on/Roll-off Carrier (ARC) has moved more than 12,400 CBMs (51,000 sqft) of cargo in support of Export-Import Bank (EXIM) funded projects to various locations in Australia. The M/V ENDURANCE, the largest Ro-Ro vessel in the U.S.- flag commercial fleet, has been the workhorse in support of these projects. The vessel operates in a liner service in cooperation with ARC sister company WWL from Europe and the U.S. via the Panama Canal to Australia and Asia, offering EXIM shippers reliable and consistent transportation and transshipment options.
Much of this volume is a direct result of an EXIM Bank $2.95 billion dollar direct loan to the Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (APLNG) Project. This transaction was EXIM Bank’s second largest single loan ever, and it is also the Bank’s first LNG project in Australia. The project is on Curtis Island in South-Central Queensland, and it is estimated that this venture will generate and support 11,000 American jobs.
The principal U.S. exporters for the project are Conoco Phillips and Bechtel International, both located in Houston, Texas. Conoco Phillips is the third-largest integrated energy company in the U.S. and the fifth-largest refiner in the world. Bechtel is a worldwide leader in chemical, petrochemical, and LNG plant construction- in the first quarter of 2014, Bechtel shipped nearly 6,500 CBMs (26,750 sqft) of cargo to Australia using ARC U.S. flag ocean transportation.
ARC’s U.S. flag support for these EXIM projects is symptomatic of the strong public/private partnerships that EXIM Bank activity facilitates, and helps support hundreds of U.S.-flag shipping industry shore-side and at-sea jobs. EXIM Bank-funded cargoes provide a key incentive for U.S.-flag vessels to remain in the U.S.-international trades, and the cargo base is crucial to the continued existence of the active, commercially viable, privately-owned U.S. flag commercial shipping fleet and U.S. merchant marine, which in turn is available to provide sealift and intermodal services to the U.S. Government in time of war or other national emergency.
American Roll-on/Roll-off Carrier – ARC is the largest U.S. flag Ro/Ro Carrier operating vessels in the U.S.-international trades. All ARC ships participate in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Program (VISA). These programs give the U.S. Government total access to participating vessels and their company’s commercial global networks.
Export Import Bank of the United States – EXIM is the official export-credit agency of the United States. American-made goods financed by EXIM are required by U.S. law to ship on U.S.-flag ocean carriers. U.S. cargo preference laws date back to at least 1904, and ensure that U.S. registered vessels, trained U.S. citizen crews, and a robust global infrastructure are available in time of national crisis.