Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is partnering with Crowley Maritime Corporation on the largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) bunkering barge ever constructed in the United States.
The transformative design of the 416-ft. vessel will offer capacity for 12,000 m3 (3.17 million gallons) of LNG and when complete it will be the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind, becoming the second Jones Act-compliant bunker barge Shell has under long-term charter in the U.S. It will be used to help expand current LNG network capacity and meet demands for cleaner energy.
“Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is pleased to partner with Crowley on this project, building on our previous successful vessel construction projects,” said Todd Thayse, Vice President & General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. “Our growing expertise and partnerships in the LNG transportation business is recognized by the industry and positions us well in this growing market. We are pleased Crowley selected our team at Bay Shipbuilding to execute this important and highly visible project.”
Bay Shipbuilding designed and constructed two large articulated tug-barges (ATBs) for Crowley in 2002. Currently Bay Shipbuilding is wrapping up construction of a similar but smaller LNG barge for Polaris New Energy, Clean Canaveral, which is expected to deliver later this year. This vessel for Crowley is expected to be in service in 2024.
“The new bunker barge will extend Crowley’s commitment to deliver cleaner, innovative solutions to help the shipping industry continue on the path to de-carbonization,” said Tucker Gilliam, vice president, Crowley Shipping. “Orders for ships fueled by liquefied natural gas continue to rise, and this vessel will provide Shell an innovative and reliable service to meet demands for more sustainable energy sources.”
With this barge, Shell continues to expand its global network for LNG bunkering, with 10 LNG bunker vessels currently under contract and plans to add further to its growing global fleet.
LNG or liquefied natural gas, is a process through which natural gas is cooled to a liquid state and reduced by nearly 600%, which makes it easier and safer to transport. Bunkering barges either transport the gas to locations where it can be returned to a gaseous state for energy, or it can be used to refuel other vessels which use LNG. LNG burns much cleaner than the other fossil fuels, resulting in greater reductions in pollution and less internal wear on engines.
Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding was recently recognized as one of the safest U.S. shipyards in 2020 by the Shipbuilders Council of America.