SEPTEMBER 9, 2015—A keel laying ceremony was held today at Conrad Orange Shipyard in Orange, TX, for the first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunker barge built in the U.S.
Earlier this year, Conrad Shipyard, Morgan City, LA, parent of Conrad Orange Shipyard, announced that it had signed a contract with WesPac Midstream LLC for the LNG bunker barge (Hull H489). WesPac worked with its affiliate Clean Marine Energy (CME), South Norwalk, CT, on developing the bunker barge project.
The barge was designed by Bristol Harbor Group, Inc., Bristol, RI, and built to ABS class.
Plans call for the 2,200 m3 capacity barge to be delivered in early 2016, initially operating in Tacoma, WA, to service shipowner Totem Ocean Trailer Express’s Orca class RO/RO vessels, in addition to other LNG-powered vessels. The Orca Class vessels are being converted to burn LNG, as well as marine diesel with Wartsila dual fuel engines.
Following initial deployment, the bunker barge will be relocated to Jacksonville, FL, to serve TOTE’s 3,100-TEU Marlin Class container ships being built by GD-NASSCO in San Diego, CA. The barge is also expected to service other LNG-powered vessels that call at the port.
The LNG barge will feature a tank equipped with MARK III Flex cargo containment technology, supplied by GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz) that will be built by Conrad Orange Shipyard under GTT license. Additionally, the barge is also intended to feature the innovative bunker mast design, REACH4 (Refueling Equipment Arm, Methane [CH4]) developed by GTT, to ensure a simple and safe transfer of LNG fuel to the vessel.