Photo: LNG bunker barge; Source: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

Fincantieri starts building largest LNG bunker barge in US

The construction of the largest US-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering barge began at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on 6 January.

Cutting steel for LNG bunker barge; Source: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

The barge is being built for the Florida-based marine solutions, transportation and logistics company Crowley that will operate the vessel under a long-term charter with energy major Shell.

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The shipyard is expected to complete the construction of the 126.7-metre-long barge with a capacity of 12,000 cbm (3.17 million gallons) in late 2023.

Upon completion, the barge will be the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind and the second Jones Act-compliant bunker barge chartered by Shell in the US.

The vessel will serve the US East Coast to help expand the current LNG network capacity and meet demands for cleaner energy sources for ships.

“We are excited to get this project started and equally pleased that it builds on our relationship with Crowley and Shell”, said Craig Perciavalle, vice president & general manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. “Our team is committed to giving our customers the best value, and we are happy to get started on this important project”.

Tucker Gilliam, vice president of Crowley Shipping added that, in partnership with Shell, this vessel will expand the availability of LNG to vessels and help advance the transition to lower-emission fuels as the industry seeks to reduce emissions.

“Shell is working hard to meet our customers’ growing needs with the energy solutions they are looking for. As we continue to expand our LNG bunkering network, we are excited to see work underway on this vessel, one which will support the shipping sector’s continued progress toward decarbonisation”, said Tahir Faruqui, general manager of Global DLNG for Shell.

As informed previously, the vessel is expected to be deployed in 2024.