Centerline Logistics, Seattle, Wash., has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Vard Marine Inc. to develop a customized 6,000-cubic-meter articulated tug and barge (ATB) LNG bunker barge.
Expected to enter service in 2024, the Jones Act-compliant ATB barge will be designed to safely navigate U.S. and international waters and to provide LNG refueling (bunkers) to a variety of ships as well as call at terminals.
With over 225 LNG-fueled ships in operation and an additional 400 on order, the need for providing dependable LNG bunkering solutions in the U.S. is growing rapidly.
“These are exciting times for LNG as a marine fuel. We are honored to support Centerline to further a more flexible and sustainable LNG marine bunkering infrastructure here in the U.S.,” said Darren Truelock, Vard Marine’s U.S. vice president of operations.
“As more shipping companies are targeting a goal of net-zero emissions, LNG is going to play a critical role in providing a feasible pathway to that target,” said Ravi Sekhon, director of engineering and sustainability at Centerline Logistics. “Much as we have over the last several decades with our traditional bunkering operations, Centerline is looking forward to providing our customers with safe and reliable LNG bunkering solutions.
Last year, Centerline announced its Visionary Fuels Initiative. This leverages Centerline’s unique and diverse asset list and industry expertise to develop future marine transportation equipment, standards, and technology targeted towards improving environmental stewardship and sustainability within U.S, ports and harbors.
“Our work with Vard represents an outstanding opportunity for Centerline to put our bold Visionary Fuels Initiative into action,” said Rachael Haykin, Centerline’s Visionary Fuels Business Development Lead. “We are eager to collaborate with Vard to refine the barge design over the next few months and begin construction soon thereafter.”