Quality Liquefied Natural Gas (QLNG) Transport’s new articulated tug-barge (ATB) bunkering combo completed sea trails and is en route to load its first cargo
Q-LNG 4000 was built by Halter Marine to ABS class as the US’ first offshore LNG bunkering ATB. During sea trials, it attained DPS-1+ notation from ABS for its dynamic positioning (DP) system.
After these trials, Q-LNG 4000 was mobilised to Elba Island in Savannah, Georgia to load its first LNG cargo and complete a series of proving trials.
Q-LNG owner Shane Guidry highlighted the importance of the proven DP capabilities on this ATB, including its tug Q-Ocean Service. “We believe this vessel’s DPS-1+ notation raises the bar in safety, efficiency, and compatibility in the LNG bunkering market,” he said. “This is another moment in maritime history we are proud to be part of.”
After successful completion of LNG proving trials, Q-LNG will deliver Q-LNG 4000 to Shell Trading, for whom it will service a long-term time charter.
Shell intends to use Q-LNG 4000 to bunker ships and cruise liners off Florida, from its homeport in Port Canaveral, as more vessels are built with dual-fuel engines and onboard LNG storage.
Carnival Cruise Line’s two new 180,000-gt dual-fuel ships and two dual-fuel Siem Car Carrier pure car truck carriers will be bunkered using Q-LNG 4000.
DPS-1+ notation requires certain equipment, software, simulations and studies be conducted to demonstrate the vessel’s capability to remain positioned in a location, using reference sensors for vessel positioning. DPS-1+ notation means this ATB can deliver LNG fuel in open water and other conditions not accessible to vessels without this notation.
ABS completed a rigorous review, ensuring the ATB could operate without additional support in close proximity to other vessels during bunkering.
Q-LNG 4000 is designed to carry 4,000 m3 of LNG on a barge with four 1,000-m3 IMO Type C cargo tanks. It has an overall length of 98.7 m, beam of 19.5 m and depth of 9.9 m.
Wärtsilä was selected to supply LNG handling, automation, propulsion and bridge systems for the ATB.
For propulsion power, the ATB tug is equipped with GE 6L250 MDC main engines, EPA Tier 4-compliant, producing a total of 3,800 kW and Z-drives. Q-Ocean Service has an overall length of 39 m, beam of 12.8 m and depth of 6.4 m.
LNG bunkering was discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s LNG Ship/Shore Interface, Europe virtual conference on 19-20 November