Crowley, Shell to build largest LNG bunker barge in US

Florida-based marine solutions, transportation and logistics company Crowley Maritime Corporation has signed a long-term time charter with Shell NA LNG for the building and operation of a new LNG bunker barge. 

As disclosed, the 126.7-meter-long barge will offer a capacity of 12,000 cbm (3.17 million gallons) and product supply equipment to serve ocean carriers.

Photo by Crowley Maritime Corporation

The vessel, which will be constructed at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is expected to be deployed in 2024.

Upon completion, the barge will be the largest Jones Act-compliant unit of its kind.

“The new bunker barge will extend Crowley’s commitment to deliver cleaner, innovative solutions to help the shipping industry continue on the path to decarbonization,” said Tucker Gilliam, vice president, Crowley Shipping.

“Orders for ships fueled by liquefied natural gas continue to rise, and the vessel will provide Shell an innovative and reliable service to meet demands for more sustainable energy sources.”

“The shipping sector is making progress toward decarbonization, and LNG offers immediate emissions reduction with the potential to become a net zero emission marine fuel given the possible roles of bio-LNG and synthetic LNG,” commented Tahir Faruqui, general manager, Global DLNG for Shell.

“This additional LNG barge will serve as another demonstration of our commitment to building and servicing sustainable maritime endeavors, both in the United States and globally,” said Dario Deste, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group.

New vessel is expected to provide ocean carriers the opportunity for reduced emissions and lower greenhouse gases.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is poised to deliver a different LNG barge for NorthStar Midstream later this year. The company started the construction of the vessel in July 2020.

The 5,400 cbm bunker barge will feature four Type C tanks and a cargo handling system by Finland’s Wartsila.

Once delivered, it will operate as an articulated tug and barge unit along the US East Coast.

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