Construction of the U.S.’s largest LNG bunker barge continues on schedule as Crowley, Shell and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding leaders reviewed progress at the shipyard as part of a ceremonial keel laying on June 29.
While onsite, they reviewed progress first-hand on how the hull and body modules are coming to form the 12,000-cubic-meter LNG bunkering barge under construction at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. It will be the second LNG bunkering barge to be built at the shipyard, which is recently constructed the 5,400-cubic-meter unit for Polaris New Energy.
Upon construction, the LNG barge will be the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind, helping to expand current network capacity and meet demands for cleaner energy. Crowley signed a long-term time charter with Shell NA LNG LLC, (Shell) providing for the building and operation of the LNG bunker barge. It is planned to serve the U.S. Southeast coastal to serve LNG-fueled ships starting in 2024.
The 416-foot-long barge will feature advanced technologies in cargo handling capabilities and increased transfer rates, including a state-of-the-art solution from Shell and Crowley Engineering Services to flexibly deliver LNG to various types of LNG containment systems. The transformative design will offer capacity for 12,000 m3 (3.17 million gallons) and product supply equipment to fully serve ocean carriers.
“Crowley, Shell and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding are excited to be able to help the maritime industry advance lower-carbon energy solutions that continue to provide efficient and reliable fuel for ships,” says Tucker Gilliam, vice president, Crowley Shipping. “We continue to see rising demand based on orders for cleaner LNG-fueled vessels in a variety of marine sectors, and helping our industry and our planet reach our long-term goals to reduce emissions in our communities continues to be essential to our sustainability practices and solutions for customers at Crowley.”
Maarten Poort, head of shipping for Shell in the Americas echoed similar sentimients.
“What a great opportunity to be here at Fincantieri Bay Shipyard (FBS) with our friends from FBS and Crowley,” says Poort. “We’re working together to deliver solutions that support our industry’s transition towards a cleaner energy future. The marine sector faces a variety of challenges as it looks to decarbonize, but being here with this group reinforces my belief that, working together, we can truly move the needle in a positive direction.”