Construction of the four IMO Type C cargo containment tanks is well underway for the largest LNG bunker vessel yet built for the US
The four 1,350-m3 IMO Type C cargo tanks are under construction in Qidong, China at CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering for Polaris New Energy’s 5,400-m3 LNG bunker barge, according to a social media post by Fincantieri Marine Group. These cargo tanks are designed to carry 1,350 m3 of LNG at -163 °C and are being supplied by Houston-based Wärtsilä North America.
Being built at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to ABS class, the bunker barge will deliver fuel to both oceangoing and inland waterway LNG-fuelled vessels. The vessel will be based on Florida’s Atlantic coast and is part of an articulated tug barge (ATB) unit. The 103.5-m barge will have a beam of 20.1 m and will use a coupler system to connect to a suitable tug as an ATB unit once completed in 2021.
The vessel will be operated by Polaris New Energy (PNE), NorthStar Midstream’s marine transportation company. PNE will source LNG from JAX LNG, a small-scale LNG production facility in Jacksonville, Florida, created through a partnership between NorthStar and Pivotal LNG.
Besides the cargo tanks, Wärtsilä will supply the system design and integration, LNG pumps, a ship-to-ship transfer system, all necessary safety and control equipment, the valves and instrumentation, and the gas combustion unit.
PNE’s LNG ATB is slightly larger than Q-LNG-4000, a 4,000-m3 LNG bunker vessel owned by Q-LNG Transport LLC nearing completion at VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Both LNG bunker ATB vessels will play vital roles in strengthening LNG bunkering infrastructure in the US to support both US- and international-flag vessels at US ports.
NorthStar Midstream holds options to build two additional sister LNG bunker barges with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.
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