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Friday, August 23, 2019 

LNG transport company NorthStar Midstream, though a new subsidiary Polaris New Energy (PNE) has executed an agreement with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to build a 5,400 m3 barge, with an option of a second, for coastwise transportation of LNG.

Using a suitable tugboat, the barge will operate as an articulated tug and barge (ATB) unit that will initially run along the US East Coast providing LNG bunkering solutions to NorthStar’s customers. PNE will be sourcing LNG from JAX LNG, a new LNG production facility in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 5,400m3 ATB will be fitted with four 1,350 CBM IMO Type C tanks. It will utilise a cargo handling system designed and developed by Wartsila. Dimensions of the vessel will be 340ft overall length, 66ft beam, and a depth of 32ft-10in. The ATB will be an ABS Classed barge.

Tim Casey, Executive President of LNG for NorthStar Midstream, said: “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. 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 [Northstar's parent] and NorthStar’s strategy to create a complete platform of LNG logistical solutions for US customers.”

Todd Thayse, VP and GM of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, said: “Entry into the US 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.”

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