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Fincantieri Begins Construction on the Largest LNG Barge in the U.S.

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Courtesy Fincantieri Marine Group

Published Jan 11, 2022 7:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has started construction on the largest LNG bunkering barge ever built in the United States. The unit is under construction for Crowley, which will operate it under a long-term charter to Shell. 

The 400-plus-foot barge which will have capacity for more than three million gallons of LNG, making it the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind. It will also be the second Jones Act-compliant bunker barge Shell has under charter, following the Q-LNG 4000. 

“We congratulate the men and women of Bay Shipbuilding on the start of this innovative, landmark vessel that will help the maritime industry meet demand for cleaner operations with reduced emissions,” said Tucker Gilliam, vice president, Crowley Shipping. “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.”

LNG is a growing part of the marine fuel picture globally. According to DNV, the number of new orders for LNG-fueled ships set a new record at 240 in 2021 - more than the new orders placed over the course of the previous four years combined.    

“Shell is working hard to meet our customers’ growing needs with the energy solutions they are looking for,” said Tahir Faruqui, general manager, Global DLNG for Shell. “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 decarbonization.” 

The new barge will operate on the U.S. East Coast, serving bunkering and fuel transport customers. It joins the Bay Shipbuilding-built LNG barge Clean Canaveral, which was recently completed and transferred to Fincantieri's new service yard in northeast Florida. As of this January, Fincantieri Marine Repair has opened for business in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, and the commissioning of Clean Canaveral is its first project.