Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wis., has been awarded a contract to build a new 340’x66’x32’10”, 5,400-cubic-meter tank barge for Polaris New Energy (PNG). The contract includes options to build two sister barges, The barge will be used for the coastwise transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
NorthStar Midstream, a portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management LP, recently formed Polaris New Energy, a marine transportation company focused on the transportation and distribution of LNG along the U.S. coastal and inland waterways.
Utilizing a suitable tug, the barge will operate as an articulated tug-barge (ATB) unit that will initially run along the U.S. East Coast providing LNG bunkering solutions to NorthStar’s customers. PNG will be sourcing LNG from JAX LNG, a new state-of-the-art LNG production facility in Jacksonville, Fla., created through a partnership between NorthStar and Pivotal LNG.
The 5,400-cm ATB will be fitted with four 1,350 CBM IMO Type C tanks. It will utilize a cargo handling system designed and developed by Wärtsilä. The ATB will be ABS classed.
“The construction of this barge will expand our ability to solve the logistics behind delivering LNG to our customers in both an economical and safe manner,” Tim Casey, executive president of LNG for NorthStar Midstream, said in a statement. “As domestic natural gas continues to rise, LNG has quickly become both a clean and competitively priced fuel alternative. We see increased domestic industries looking to LNG as their future fuel source, and we are extremely excited to be on the forefront of LNG domestic marine transportation. This is a first step in Oaktree and NorthStar’s strategy to create a complete platform of LNG logistical solutions for U.S. customers.”
“Entry into the U.S. LNG transportation vessel market has been a strategic interest of our organization,” Todd Thayse, vice president and general manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, said. “Partnering with NorthStar and its affiliate companies on this project gives us the opportunity to be part of this exciting emerging industry and related market growth. As we put this project into place, we will bring the expertise of Fincantieri and our own designs to the LNG market.”
No additional details have been released.