Fifteen New Inland Barges to Run Mostly on LNG

Photo credit: Wärtsilä
Photo credit: Wärtsilä

A total of 15 LNG-powered inland barges to be chartered by Shell for use in European waterways will be equipped with Wärtsilä dual-fuel main engines running primarily on liquified natural gas, the Finnish engine manufacturer announced Monday.

The 110-meter barges are being built for Belgium-based Plouvier Transportation and will be chartered by Shell Trading Rotterdam in support of its growing operations in the ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) and Rhinetrack (Germany/Switzerland) regions.

The barges will each be equipped with a 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel main engine operating mostly on LNG. Wärtsilä will also supply other propulsion equipment and its LNGPac fuel gas handling system.

“The specified requirements were for environmental compliance, reliability, fuel flexibility, low operational costs, and a proven concept,” Wärtsilä said in statement announcing the contract award. “The development of LNG as a cleaner fuel for shipping is supported by Shell, and these innovative new vessels represent an important endorsement of this support. They will also enhance the safety and efficiency performance of the company’s fleet.”

The ships’ hulls are under construction at the VEKA Shipyard CENTROMOST in Poland and final outfitting will be carried out at VEKA Shipyard Werkendam. Delivery of barges are expected to take place between late-2016 and mid- 2018.