With marine operators in the Pacific Northwest, Gulf Coast and elsewhere looking to liquefied natural gas propulsion systems, Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary Jensen Maritime, Seattle, Wash., on Wednesday announced its designers are developing two new LNG bunker barge concepts.

Both configurations can be fully customized to meet a customer’s unique needs, according to Jensen.

The first concept fits an existing barge with an above-deck LNG tank. The concept can be modified to accommodate more than one type of product, if a customer needs to make multiple liquid transfers. This design will have the advantages of fast turnaround, and lower costs of investment in specialized assets, if a customer has only short-term LNG requirements.

The second concept is for purpose-built bunker barges, with greater carrying capacity and improved visibility. That design nestles a larger LNG tank inside the barge hull. Those newbuilds would come with the latest safety features and efficiencies, Jensen said.

“We understand that customers have very different needs when it comes to LNG,” said Johan Sperling, vice president. “Whether LNG is required for the long or short term, or in larger or smaller quantities, Jensen has a bunkering solution. We are proud to continue leading the way with LNG marine solutions.”

Totem Ocean Trailer Express (Totem Ocean) recently announced a contract with Singapore-based Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. for converting the 839’x118’ trailership Midnight Sun to dual fuel LNG. The company says this is the world’s first major conversion of a large RO/RO trailership. The conversion will reduce particulate emission by 91%, nitrogen oxides by 100%, sulfur oxides by 90%, and carbon dioxide by 35% on the ship’s run between Tacoma, Wash. and Anchorage, AK. Totem Ocean plans to convert its other Orca-class sister ship North Star in 2016-2017. Totem Ocean is part of the TOTE and Saltchuk organization that is introducing the world’s first two LNG powered containerships into the Puerto Rico trade later this year.

WesPac Midstream is building an LNG bunker barge to deliver fuel to the Tacoma-based ships. For the long term, Puget Sound Energy has a venture with Totem Ocean and the Port of Tacoma to build and LNG liquefaction terminal by the end of 2018 that will supply fuel to Totem Ocean and other transportation users.

Jensen is offering its own designs to bridge those LNG infrastructure gaps.

“Bunker barges offer an innovative solution for the maritime industry, which is currently struggling with the decision over which to develop first – LNG infrastructure or vessels,” the company said in its announcement. “These barges are an ideal resource for those who have LNG needs at ports not located near an LNG terminal, or as an alternative to over-the-road transportation.”