Puerto Rico gets Jones Act waiver for liquefied natural gas shipments

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Sunday approved a temporary waiver of U.S. cargo transport rules in order to provide Puerto Rico with liquefied natural gas as it recovers from Hurricane Fiona.

The move temporarily waives the Jones Act, which permits only U.S. flagged vessels to complete maritime cargo transport between U.S. ports.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas approved a similar waiver in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane to address the island’s fuel and diesel needs.

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico in September, at one point knocking out power across the entire island as it hammered the power grid.

“In support of the Puerto Rican people as they continue to recover from Hurricane Fiona, I have approved a temporary and targeted Jones Act waiver to address the unique and urgent need for liquified natural gas in Puerto Rico,” Mayorkas said in a release from the Homeland Security Department.

The U.S. territory’s governor, Pedro Pierluisi, on Friday requested the waiver “to allow for a natural gas barge from the Dominican Republic” to arrive on the island and pushed for expedited approval to keep Puerto Rico’s EcoEléctrica plant in operation, according to Twitter updates from the governor.

Mayorkas noted in the Sunday announcement that the granted waiver was decided upon with input from Pierluisi as well as the Transportation and Energy departments.

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