Crowley Enters LNG Market with Acquisition of Carib Energy

Carib Energy's president, Greg Buffington, will join Crowley as vice president of Carib Energy. Photo: Crowley Maritime Corporation
Carib Energy’s president, Greg Buffington, will join Crowley as vice president of Carib Energy. Photo: Crowley Maritime Corporation

Crowley Maritime announced Wednesday the purchase of natural gas supply and logistics company, Carib Energy, marking Crowley’s entry into the LNG market.

Founded in 2011, Florida-based Carib Energy was the first company to receive a small scale, 25 year LNG export license from the U.S. Department of Energy for LNG transportation from the U.S. into Free Trade Agreement countries.

Crowley says its overall strategic focus on the LNG market will span several of its diversified business lines and the purchase of Carib Energy provides an induction into the emerging energy market from which the company can grow its concentration on LNG transportation.

“Crowley has a myriad of business lines, each with overlapping expertise perfectly positioned to develop a strong footprint in the LNG market,” said Tom Crowley, company chairman and CEO. “Whether it’s designing the next LNG bulk transport vessel, transporting ISO tanks via Crowley’s regularly scheduled liner service, arranging special carriage via our global logistics network or providing project solutions for LNG discovery and extraction; Crowley has the service portfolio to provide turnkey solutions within the LNG space.”

As a result of the acquisition, Crowley has formed Crowley LNG services group within Crowley’s petroleum services business unit. The new unit is being headed up by Vice President of Business Development Matt Jackson, who reports to Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services. The new unit will serve the LNG market through LNG vessel design and construction; transportation; product sales and distribution, and full-scale, project management solutions.

“The Carib Energy acquisition is an exciting opportunity for Crowley to utilize a combination of its core competencies including marine solutions, logistics planning and execution and associated technical and project management capabilities in an area that is by all measures growing rapidly both within the U.S. and abroad,” said Grune. “We look forward to playing a pivotal role with both new and existing customers as they strive to provide safe and reliable LNG distribution assets and services.”

The acquisition of Carib Energ provides Crowley an immediate book of business for the supply, transportation, and distribution of LNG via 10,000 gallon ISO tanks, Crowley said in a statement.  While Carib Energy has a pending DOE application to supply LNG transportation services into non-FTA countries, its current licensing allows them, and now Crowley, to supply cost-efficient, environmentally friendly LNG from the U.S. to both commercial and industrial customers within the Caribbean and Central and South America.  Carib Energy is also cementing its involvement in future LNG fuel bunkering for ships transiting between the U.S. and Caribbean markets.

As part of the Carib Energy acquisition, Greg Buffington, the company’s president, will join Crowley as vice president of Carib Energy, reporting to Jackson. Buffington will continue to develop and expand the company’s Caribbean and Central America opportunities for small-scale LNG applications.  His experience is deeply rooted within the international propane gas industry where he spent 31 years in varying capacities. He was the founder of EFG Industries, an international supplier of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) equipment, engineering and plant construction.

“We are very pleased to welcome Greg to the Crowley family,” said Jackson.  “He shares our understanding of the exponential business potential for LNG as well as our corporate values. He knows our ‘One Crowley, One Team’ approach will allow us to leverage a multitude of experience towards a common goal of success within this vastly untapped energy market.”