A newly formed marine transportation company, Quality Liquefied Natural Gas Transport LLC (Q-LNG), has signed a long-term contract with Shell Trading (U.S.) to deliver LNG to ports in Florida and the Caribbean.

Q-LNG, 70% owned by Shane Guidry, CEO of Harvey Gulf International Marine, and 30% owned by New Orleans-based Harvey Gulf, will own and operate assets that provide marine transportation of liquefied natural gas, a critical component of U.S. LNG infrastructure,” Guidry said in a statement announcing the venture Tuesday.

“I’m very appreciative that Shell has the confidence in me and my team to service their LNG transport needs,” Guidry said. “Everyone is aware the eastern ports of Florida are very busy with pleasure craft, and Q-LNG will be focused and dedicated to deliver extremely safe transit to all the ports we will service.”

Q-LNG will operate the first offshore articulated LNG tug-barge in the U.S., Harvey Gulf said in a release. The ATB will be built VT Halter Marine, Inc., Pascagoula, Miss. The ATB will meet requirements of the International Gas Carrier (“IGC”) code, with capacity for up to 4,000 cubic meters of LNG.

The barge will be 324'x64'x 32.6', pushed by a 128'x42'x21' tug. The project will rely heavily on the collaboration between VT Halter and Wärtsilä, who will be delivering a large scope of equipment to the project.

Wärtsilä’s deliverables for the barge include all of the cargo handling, cargo control, and cargo containment system as well as the PMS and automation onboard. For the tug, equipment from Wärtsilä will include all of the bridge navigation, communications, and dynamic positioning equipment as well as thruster, PMS and automation.

Guidry stressed safety priorities for Q-LNG, noting that as of July 2017 Harvey Gulf reached four years and over 12 million man hours without a lost time accident.

“The strong safety culture we’ve developed at Harvey Gulf will be integrated into Q-LNG, as well as a continued commitment to build upon the ‘safety above all’ foundation our team has established,” Guidry said.

”At a time when companies are stacking boats and scrapping new builds, our CEO and partner Shane Guidry is contracting and building,” said Harvey Gulf board member W. Steve Orlando. Despite the industry downturn, the company’s management has “delivered consistent margins of over 55% since the downturn started in 2014, further increasing these margins in excess of 60% throughout 2016 and 2017,” said Orlando.

Harvey Gulf has been a leader in developing LNG use as marine fuel, delivering the first U.S. LNG-powered OSV, the 310’x64’x25.6’ Harvey Energy in February 2015, and building the first LNG marine fuel terminal in the U.S. at Port Fourchon, La.