North America?s First LNG Bunker Barge Delivered

Clean Jacksonville
Clean Jacksonville

Published Aug 20, 2018 8:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

The first LNG bunker barge built in North America has been delivered by Conrad Industries to TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico. 

The Clean Jacksonville was constructed at Conrad Orange Shipyard in Texas, with gas trials undertaken in Port Fourchon, LA. The vessel, with a 2,200 cubic meter LNG capacity, will enter service for TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico in the Port of Jacksonville, Florida, where the vessel will bunker two Marlin Class container ships operating on LNG fuel between Jacksonville and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The two 764-foot Marlin-class vessels, the Perla del Caribe and the Isla Bella, were built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego and delivered in late 2015 and early 2016. They have so far been bunkering by truck at Jacksonville. 

Both ABS and the U.S. Coast Guard collaborated on the bunker barge project which is also the first time a GTT membrane system has been installed in a non self-propelled barge in the U.S. 

Bristol Harbor Group (BHGI) was responsible for the design and engineering of the barge. The company's sister company The Shearer Group provided technical/shipyard support during the construction. BHGI served as the regulatory lead and liaison between the regulatory bodies. During the early stages of the design, BHGI participated in a HAZID/HAZOP workshop as well as a Waterway Suitability Study and a Waterway Suitability Risk Assessment which were the first steps towards obtaining U.S. Coast Guard approval. Being a first of its kind vessel, BHGI worked with all parties involved throughout the entire process to obtain ABS and U.S. Coast Guard approvals. 

LNG bunkering is expanding in the region. Earlier this year, Crowley Maritime’s new con/ro El Coquí delivered its first cargo from Florida to Puerto Rico. El Coquí, a sub-Panamax container ship and ro-ro built by VT Halter, is among the first of her kind to be powered by LNG. 

According to LNG World Shipping, there are six LNG bunkering vessels in service and a further 12 on order.