Seaside expands LNG bunkering fleet with Tote deal

Seaside LNG says it now has the largest fleet of LNG bunkering barges in the US after it purchased Tote’s Clean Jacksonville.

The firm backed by Houston-based Arroyo Investors bought North America’s first LNG bunkering barge, which recently completed its 300th operation since 2018, from Tote Maritime Puerto Rico.

Built by Conrad, the LNG bunkering barge has no propulsion and it features one 2,200-cbm GTT LNG tank.

According to a statement by Seaside LNG, its maritime transportation unit, Polaris New Energy, has contracted to continue fueling Tote’s Marlin Class LNG-powered container ships and other commercial customers with its fleet of LNG bunkering barges.

In addition, Polaris entered into a long-term contract with Tote Services, a separate subsidiary of Tote, to continue serving as the technical manager of the bunkering barge Clean Jacksonville, it said.

Seaside LNG did not reveal the price tag of the deal.

The barge supplies liquefied natural gas to Tote’s Marlin class LNG-powered vessels and other ships in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tote Maritime Puerto Rico uses two LNG-fueled container vessels, namely Isla Bella and Perla del Caribe, to transport goods between Jacksonville and Puerto Rico.

The barge loads the fuel at Jax LNG, a production facility in Jacksonville.

Seaside LNG has a 50 percent interest and Pivotal LNG also owns a 50 percent stake in the small-scale facility with a capacity of 360,000 gallons per day.

Three bunkering barges

The acquisition of Clean Jacksonville complements the bunkering services of Polaris’ 5,500-cbm Clean Canaveral that operates along the coast of the southeastern US and is the largest bunkering barge in the Jones Act market, Seaside LNG said.

This articulated tug and barge unit completed its first LNG bunkering operation in March last year in Jacksonville.

Polaris also has a second 5,500-cbm barge, Clean Everglades, which is under construction at US-based Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and scheduled for delivery by end of 2023.

Seaside LNG now has the largest fleet of LNG barges operating in the US, CEO Tim Casey said in the statement.

“Seaside continues to expand its ability to bring environmentally-friendly LNG to the shipping industry with our partnership in JAX LNG and our investments in growing the LNG barge fleet,” he said.

“By purchasing the Clean Jacksonville, our team gains not only a new customer and valuable operating partner, but also the opportunity to expand our fleet operations geographically,” Casey said.

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