The news that Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, owns a stake in a company with links to the Kremlin has raised questions about whether Ross may have a personal conflict of interest. But there’s another reason the company is interesting: It’s involved in a key part of Trump’s energy policy, which is to increase US gas and chemical exports.
Ross, through an offshore entity, owns a stake in shipping company Navigator Holdings, journalist consortium ICIJ reported on Nov. 5. One of Navigator’s customers, Sibur, is a company partly owned by the son-in-law of Russian president Vladimir Putin and another businessman who is under US sanctions, ICIJ said.
Navigator calls itself the world’s “largest fleet of natural gas carriers”; it owns 38 ships that transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other chemicals. On July 12, Navigator announced an agreement to develop an ethylene marine export terminal in Houston. Ethylene is used to …