US shipping firm Centerline Logistics is teaming up with Canada-based designer Vard Marine to work on a new LNG bunkering barge.
The two companies signed a letter of intent to develop a customized 6,000-cbm articulated tug and barge (ATB) LNG bunkering barge, according to a joint statement.
Centerline and Vard Marine aim to develop a “safe and economical barge that will meet the growing and diverse LNG needs of the maritime shipping industry, helping to reduce emissions in America’s ports and harbors.”
The two firms will now work to refine the barge design over the next few months and begin construction “soon thereafter.”
Vard Marine plans to design the Jones Act-compliant ATB barge to navigate the US and international waters.
Also, the LNG bunkering vessel would provide LNG refueling to a variety of ships as well as call at terminals.
The partners expect the barge to go into service in 2024.
Vard Marine is a part of Norway-based Vard Group, a unit of Italy’s Fincantieri.
US-based Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, a unit of Fincantieri, delivered the first LNG bunkering barge to NorthStar’s Polaris New Energy in December last year. The yard is also building a sister LNG bunkering vessel for the US firm.
Besides these vessels, Fincantieri Bay recently started building Crowley’s large LNG bunkering barge that will go on charter to a US unit of energy giant Shell.