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Wednesday, January 12, 2022 

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, has started construction of the largest LNG bunkering barge built in the United States.

The yard is expected to complete construction on the barge in late 2023 under contract with Crowley, the largest independent operator of tank vessels in the US.  Crowley will operate the vessel under a long-term charter with Shell. The 416-ft. vessel, which will have the capacity for 12,000 m3 (3.17m 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 US. Serving the US East Coast, it will be used to help expand current LNG network capacity and meet demands for cleaner energy sources for ships.

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

Tucker Gilliam, VP Crowley Shipping, said: “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. 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.”

The vessel is designed by Crowley Engineering Services, the company’s naval architecture and marine engineering solutions group.

ahir Faruqui, GM Global DLNG, Shell, said: “Shell is working hard to meet our customers’ growing needs with the energy solutions they are looking for. 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 decarbonisation.”

Dario Deste, head of Fincantieri’s US operations, said: “Our team at Bay has done a tremendous job of managing the build cycles of several large and important vessels during the pandemic. 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.”

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