Illustration courtesy Crowley

Bay Shipbuilding Kicks Off Construction on Large LNG Bunkering Barge for Crowley

Mike Schuler
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January 11, 2022

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin has started construction on what is set to become the largest LNG bunkering barge ever built in the United States.

The barge will be owned by Crowley and operated under a long-term charter with Shell NA LNG upon delivery in late 2023.

The 416-foot-long vessel, which will have the capacity for 12,000 m3 (3.17 million gallons) of LNG, will be the largest Jones Act-compliant vessel of its kind and the second Jones Act-compliant bunker barge Shell has under a time charter in the U.S.

The barge is set to be deployed on the U.S. East Coast, helping to expand current LNG network capacity and meet growing demand from the shipping sector as it transitions towards lower emissions fuels.

“We are excited to get this project started, and equally pleased that it builds on our relationship with Crowley and Shell,” said Craig Perciavalle, Vice President & General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. “Our team is committed to giving our customers the best value, and we are happy to get started on this important project.”

“We congratulate the men and women of Bay Shipbuilding on the start of this innovative, landmark vessel that will help the maritime industry meet demand for cleaner operations with reduced emissions,” said Tucker Gilliam, vice president, Crowley Shipping. “In partnership with Shell, this vessel will expand the availability of LNG to vessels and help advance the transition to lower-emission fuels as the industry seeks to reduce emissions.”

Dean Sahr, Crowley’s manager of new construction and LNG engineering, pushed the button on the state-of-the-art metal cutter to cut the first piece of steel in Sturgeon Bay on Jan. 6. The vessel is designed by Crowley Engineering Services, the company’s naval architecture and marine engineering solutions group.

“Shell is working hard to meet our customers’ growing needs with the energy solutions they are looking for,” said Tahir Faruqui, general manager, Global DLNG for Shell. “As we continue to expand our LNG bunkering network, we are excited to see work underway on this vessel, one which will support the shipping sector’s continued progress toward decarbonization.”

“Our team at Bay has done a tremendous job of managing the build cycles of several large and important vessels during the pandemic,” said Dario Deste, the head of Fincantieri’s U.S. operations. “Even with COVID-related supply chain challenges globally, we continue to meet our customers’ timelines. Delivering on schedule is a point of pride for Fincantieri.”

Bay Shipbuilding in December delivered a 340-foot LNG bunkering articulated tug-barge (ATB), named Clean Canaveral, to Polaris New Energy, and in October 2020 delivered a new self-unloading barge to VanEnkevort Tug & Barge Inc. It also has a second 5,500 cubic meter LNG barge in the works for Polaris Energy, and is currently constructing the first U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier built in more than 35 years for The Interlake Steamship Company.

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