LNG America has contracted Jensen Maritime Consultants to design the initial bunker/shuttle barge for its U.S. Gulf Coast operations. LNG America plans to have the vessels ready for service by the end of 2015.
The vessels, which are expected to be delivered in late 2015, have an initial planned capacity of up to 3,000 cu. m of LNG. Once in operation, the bunker barges will serve the dual purpose of moving LNG from the supply source to coastal-based storage and distribution terminals as well as directly bunkering large ships and other vessels.
"Through LNG America's LNG bunkering initiative, we plan to serve and facilitate the growing marine demand for LNG," said Keith Meyer, CEO of LNG America. "LNG America sees the demand for marine LNG to be robust as long as LNG can be made available to the maritime industry on a reliable, dependable and cost competitive basis. Our mission is to deliver competitively priced LNG as fuel where needed, when needed, and in the quantity needed."
The agreement between LNG America and JMC is a significant step in LNG America's build out of it's LNG bunkering infrastructure along the U.S. Gulf Coast, and a significant step in delivering a new clean fuel to the maritime industry.
"The significance of this agreement is not only incredible news for the marine industry, which struggles with whether to develop LNG infrastructure or vessels first, but also for companies along the U.S. Gulf that hope to replace their traditional vessels with cleaner, more efficient LNG-powered ones," said Jensen's Johan Sperling, vice president. "We are thrilled to be working with LNG America in the development of its marine infrastructure and also in providing a green fuel source to this important region. Jensen is on the leading edge when it comes to LNG vessel design and we look forward to serving LNG America and other customers with this valuable service."
JMC is Crowley Maritime's Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering company.