Seattle: At the end of last month a Jensen Maritime-designed, liquefied natural gas (LNG)-bunkering articulated tug-barge (ATB) was granted approval in principle by classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).
Ideal for mobile bunkering, Jensen’s ATB is also oceans rated, meaning that it is not limited to the intracoastal waterways, like many other similar types of LNG ATBs. This flexible design feature allows the vessel to facilitate the transfer and use of small-scale LNG in places with limited infrastructure, including offshore locations.
The ATB will be built with four 1,000- m3 Type C LNG tanks (seven bar working pressure), enough LNG to fill up a large containership twice before having to replenish its own supply.
“This vessel is exciting for so many reasons, but perhaps most notably because it offers a solution for the maritime industry, which struggles with whether to develop LNG infrastructure or vessels first,” says Jensen’s Johan Sperling, vice president. “This unique concept offers customers an economical alternative to sourcing LNG terminals or trucking LNG to multiple ports.”
Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants is a naval architecture and marine engineering firm owned by Crowley Maritime Corporation. The company offers a diverse range of consulting, design and engineering services developed from more than 50 years of experience working around the world.
Sperling says that he expects solid demand for the new barge.
“There is demand, however the entire market has slowed down slightly due to the drop in oil prices,” he says, adding: “That said, those who have already invested in LNG are continuing to do so.”