Bay Shipbuilding Begins Building US' Largest LNG Bunker Barge
Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding announced it has started construction on the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering barge ever built in the U.S.
The newbuild, expected to be completed in late 2023, is being built for Crowley, the largest independent operator of tank vessels in the U.S., who will operate the vessel under a long-term charter with Shell NA LNG, LLC. Bay Shipbuilding announced it won the contract to build the barge in September.
The 416-foot vessel, which will have the capacity for 12,000 cubic meters (3.17 million gallons) of LNG, will be the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind, and the second Jones Act-compliant bunker barge Shell has under a time charter in the U.S.
Serving the U.S. East Coast, it will be used to help expand current LNG network capacity and meet demands for cleaner energy sources for ships.
“We are excited to get this project started, and equally pleased that it builds on our relationship with Crowley and Shell,” said Craig Perciavalle, Vice President & General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. “Our team is committed to giving our customers the best value, and we are happy to get started on this important project.”
“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.”
Dean Sahr, Crowley’s manager of new construction and LNG engineering, pushed the button on the state-of-the-art metal cutter to cut the first piece of steel in Sturgeon Bay on January 6. The vessel is designed by Crowley Engineering Services, the company’s naval architecture and marine engineering solutions group.
“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.”
Dario Deste, the head of Fincantieri’s U.S. operations, reinforced the importance of this project and the role that Bay Shipbuilding has. “Our team at Bay has done a tremendous job of managing the build cycles of several large and important vessels during the pandemic,” Deste said. “Even with COVID-related supply chain challenges globally, we continue to meet our customers’ timelines. Delivering on schedule is a point of pride for Fincantieri.”