Pascagoula-based shipbuilder VT Halter Marine, a company of Vision Technologies Systems, has launched construction on America’s first liquefied natural gas articulated tug and barge (LNG ATB) unit.
VT Halter Marine won the construction contract in November 2017 from Q-LNG Transport.
The vessel is part of a long-term contract between Q-LNG Transport and Shell Trading (U.S.) Company and it will be employed in delivering LNG as a fuel source to various ports in Florida and the Caribbean.
The LNG-bunker barge will also support growing cruise line demand for LNG marine fuel.
“We believe that this is a significant step towards the USA becoming the premier supplier of LNG as the environmentally friendly maritime fuel source of choice,” Rob Mullins, Chief Executive Officer of VT Halter Marine, said.
The ATB Tug will have 5,100 horsepower, GE 6L250 MDC EPA Tier 4 main engines, with Z-drives, and is designed to carry 4,000 cubic meters of LNG.
As informed earlier, the bunker barge will be capable of loading LNG from big or small terminals.
It is designed to meet the requirements of American Bureau of Shipbuilding (ABS) and the International Gas Carrier (IGC) code as an LNG bunkering barge.
Anticipated delivery of the vessel is in the first quarter of 2020. Once delivered, the bunker barge will be operated by Harvey Gulf International Marine.