Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) has received a contract from NorthStar Midstream to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) barge, which will be used to serve the US East Coast market.

NorthStar Midstream is a portfolio company of funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

The contract includes the construction of a 5,400m³ LNG barge and the scope to build two sister barges.

To be built at an FBS facility in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the vessel will have an overall length of 340ft and width of 66ft. The LNG vessel will be more than 32ft in height.

The new vessel will operate as an articulated tug and barge (ATB) and will be operated by NorthStar’s newly created marine transportation company called Polaris New Energy (PNE).

FBS will be including four 1,350m³ IMO Type C tanks in the new ATB using a cargo handling system developed by Wartsila.

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PNE will be engaged in transportation and distribution activities along coastal and inland waterways of the US and providing LNG bunkering solutions to NorthStar’s customers.

It will source LNG from JAX LNG production facility in Jacksonville, Florida that was created through a partnership between NorthStar and Pivotal LNG.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding vice-president and general manager Todd Thayse said: “Entry into the US LNG transportation vessel market has been a strategic interest of our organisation.

“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 hardworking 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.”