North America’s first LNG bunker barge construction contract signed

WesPac Midstream and its affiliate Clean Marine Energy revealed a construction contract with Conrad Orange Shipyard for the build of what they claim the first dedicated LNG bunker barge for the marine market in North America.

This barge will be a critical supply chain component in ongoing efforts around the world to reduce the environmental impact of maritime activity through the conversion of ships to LNG“, the company said in a statement.

The 2,200 cubic meter barge is expected to be delivered in early 2016 and planned to initially be deployed in Tacoma, Washington, to service shipowner Totem Ocean Trailer Express’s “Orca class” RO/RO vessels, in addition to other LNG-powered vessels. Subsequently the barge will be relocated to Jacksonville, Florida to serve TOTE’s newbuild “Marlin class” container vessels and other LNG-powered vessels in the Port of Jacksonville.

The LNG barge will feature one tank equipped with Mark III Flex cargo containment technology, from the French company GTT, to be constructed by Conrad Orange Shipyard under GTT license. Bristol Harbor Group will be responsible for the vessel’s design, with the American Bureau for Shipping acting as the classification society.

This initial bunker barge for TOTE is part of the WesPac/CME plan to provide an integrated LNG solution for engine conversion, infrastructure, supply, and delivery logistics to the shipping industry,” the statement said.

As more U.S. Jones Act shipowners and operators seek to meet stringent 0.1 percent sulfur limits within ECAs by converting to LNG as a cleaner bunker fuel, WesPac/CME plans to exercise its options with Conrad to construct additional LNG fueling barges to serve other North American ports.

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