Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to Construct LNG Barge for U.S. East Coast Market

LNG Barge rendering
A rendering of the 5,400 CBM ATB to be construction by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. Image courtesy Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has been selected to construct an LNG barge to serve the U.S. east coast market.

The vessel will be constructed at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s facility in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

The newbuild LNG barge will be operated by Polaris New Energy (“PNE”), a new marine transportation company set up by NorthStar Midstream, a portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management. The new company will specialize in the transportation and distribution of liquefied natural gas (LNG) along coastal and inland waterways of the United States.

NorthStar awarded the contract to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for the construction of one 5,400 cubic meter (CBM) LNG barge, with potential to construct two sister barges. The barge will operate as an articulated tug and barge (ATB) that will initially run along the East Coast of the United States providing LNG bunkering solutions to NorthStar’s customers.

The ATB will be fitted with four 1,350 CBM IMO Type C tanks, utilizing a cargo handling system designed and developed by Wartsila. Dimensions of the vessel will be 340’ overall length, 66’ beam, and a depth of 32’-10”. The ATB will be an ABS Classed barge.

Polaris New Energy will source LNG from JAX LNG, a new state-of-the-art LNG production facility in Jacksonville, Florida created through a partnership between NorthStar and Pivotal LNG.

“The construction of this barge will expand our ability to solve the logistics behind delivering LNG to our customers in both an economical and safe manner,” said Tim Casey, Executive President of LNG for NorthStar Midstream. “As domestic natural gas continues to rise, LNG has quickly become both a clean and competitively priced fuel alternative. We see increased domestic industries looking to LNG as their future fuel source, and we are extremely excited to be on the forefront of LNG domestic marine transportation. This is a first step in Oaktree and NorthStar’s strategy to create a complete platform of LNG logistical solutions for U.S. customers.”

Todd Thayse, Vice President and General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, commented:

“Entry into the U.S. LNG transportation vessel market has been a strategic interest of our organization. Partnering with NorthStar and its affiliate companies on this project gives us the opportunity to be part of this exciting emerging industry and related market growth. As we put this project into place, we will bring the expertise of Fincantieri and our own designs to the LNG market. The hard working women and men of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding are well prepared and eager to begin, providing the eventual on-time delivery and quality the maritime industry has come to know and expect from our shipyards.”