WesPac to Build N. America’s First LNG Bunker Barge
WesPac Midstream LLC (WesPac), a provider of energy infrastructure and liquefied natural gas (LNG) solutions, and its affiliate Clean Marine Energy LLC (CME), the global facilitator of tailored solutions for Emission Control Area (ECA) compliance, announced a construction contract with Conrad Orange Shipyard, Inc., a division of Conrad Shipyard, LLC, to build 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 first 2,200 cubic meter (cbm) 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 (parent company to Totem Ocean) 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 engineering and technology company GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz), to be constructed by Conrad Orange Shipyard under GTT license. Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. will be responsible for the vessel’s design, with the American Bureau for Shipping (ABS) 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. 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.
“A comprehensive LNG supply and distribution network for the marine market in North America is critical for the shipping industry, said Pace Ralli, CEO and cofounder of CME. “WesPac/CME is taking the necessary steps to complete the LNG supply chain so ship owners can be assured LNG will be available when and where it is needed.”
Peter Keller, EVP of TOTE, stated, “This sophisticated new barge, constructed by Conrad and utilizing GTT membrane technology, will serve both our Orca class vessels as they are converted to LNG and the Marlins, the world’s first LNG dual fueled container vessels.”