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OSG Tankers Picked for MARAD’s Tanker Security Program

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2935
April 12, 2023

Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) has been awarded operating agreements for three of its internationally-trading vessels under the Maritime Administration’s new Tanker Security Program (TSP), OSG’s Chief Executive Officer Sam Norton announced Tuesday.

Modeled after MARAD’s Maritime Security Program (MSP), the TSP is a newly created public-private partnership program that ensures a fleet of 10 U.S.-flagged and -owned product tankers from the international commercial sector are active and available to the Department of Defense to ensure the supply of fuel during times of armed conflict or national emergency.

OSG’s medium-range tankers Overseas Santorini, Overseas Mykonos, and Overseas Sun Coast have been selected as three of the 10 vessels approved by MARAD for the TSP, Norton said.

“This award culminates nearly five years of effort in working with its industry, labor, and government partners to get the TSP up and operating,” Sam Norton writes in a LinkedIn post. “The TSP has been created to provide a fleet of active, commercially viable, militarily useful, privately-owned US flagged product tank vessels trading internationally outside of conventional Jones Act trades. With the inception of the TSP, the Department of Defense will have access to an expanded pool of US flagged tankers operating worldwide that will allow for committed, reliable and loyal fuel transportation to the US military during a time of national crisis, as opposed to relying on transportation by foreign-flagged vessels.”

The TSB was authorized as a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. The program is expected to continue through 2035, but funds must be reappropriated by Congress each year.

Each vessel in the 10-ship program will receive a $6 million annual stipend from the U.S. government for their enrollment.

“OSG is proud to be admitted into the TSP program and to be able to support the US government in its military efforts,” Norton said. “In addition to expanding the number of available, militarily useful, US flagged tankers, a prime objective of the TSP is to deepen and broaden the pool of domestic merchant mariners who possess the requisite skills and experience to support a right-sized US flag tanker fleet. A future with more jobs for American mariners is an unequivocally good thing. The TSP will help make that future vision a reality and all those involved in its creation should be recognized for their efforts in standing up this important program.”

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