Crowley, Shell ink deal for new US LNG bunkering barge

Florida-based Crowley Maritime said it has teamed up with LNG giant Shell to build a new Jones Act-compliant liquefied natural gas bunkering barge.

Shell NA LNG will take the barge, the company’s second in the US after the Q-LNG 4000, on a long-term charter.

Moreover, Shell’s unit will use the vessel to fuel LNG-powered ships that call on ports on the US East Coast starting in 2024, according to a joint statement.

The 416-foot-long barge would feature advanced technologies in cargo handling capabilities but also increased transfer rates, the statement said.

This includes a “state-of-the-art solution” from Shell and Crowley Engineering Services to flexibly deliver LNG to various types of containment systems, the duo said.

Also, the vessel will offer capacity for 12,000 cbm or 3.17 million gallons and product supply equipment to fully serve ocean carriers.

US-based Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding will build the vessel claimed to be the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind. The yard is already constructing Polaris New Energy’s new LNG bunkering barge which should begin service by the end of this year.

“Shell is dedicated to growing our LNG bunkering network across key trade routes, and this barge supports our commitment to helping provide our customers with the energy solution they are looking for,” said Tahir Faruqui, general manager, Global DLNG for Shell.

“The shipping sector is making progress toward decarbonization, and LNG offers immediate emissions reduction with the potential to become a net zero emission marine fuel given the possible roles of bio-LNG and synthetic LNG,” he said.

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