Jensen Maritime has secured a contract from Houston-based LNG America to design liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker barges.
The LNG bunker barges will be the first to be developed in the US, claims the company.
The company first produced prototype designs for LNG vessels in 2008 and has since designed a 100ft by 40ft LNG tugboat and several other prototypes for LNG bunker vessels, harbour tugs, articulated tug barges (ATBs), container ships and tankers.
The new LNG bunker barges will have a capacity of up to 3,000m³ of LNG.
The vessels will be used for transporting LNG from LNG America’s Louisiana supply source to coastal storage and distribution terminals, and for bunkering large ships.
LNG America CEO Keith Meyer said that through LNG America’s LNG bunkering initiative, the company plans to serve and facilitate the growing marine demand for LNG.
"LNG America sees the demand for marine LNG to be robust, as long as LNG can be made available to the maritime industry on a reliable, dependable and cost-competitive basis. Our mission is to deliver competitively priced LNG as fuel where needed, when needed and in the quantity needed," Meyer said.
Jensen Maritime vice-president Johan Sperling said that the agreement is not only positive for the marine industry, but also for companies along the US Gulf that aim to replace traditional vessels with cleaner, more efficient LNG-powered ones.
The vessels are expected to be delivered in late 2015.
Jensen Maritime is a Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm of Crowley Maritime.
Image: Jensen Maritime-built LNG bunker barges will supply the maritime industry with clean fuel source. Photo: courtesy of Crowley Maritime Corporation.