A beginning-of-construction ceremony has been held at VT Halter Marine‘s Pascagoula, Mississippi facility for the first US-built, LNG-powered articulated tug/barge unit (LNG ATB).
The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) class ATB will be owned by New Orleans-based Q-LNG Transportation.
The 39-metre by 12.8-metre ATB tug Q-Ocean Service will have 3,803kW GE Tier-4 main engines with Z-drives.
The 98.7-metre by 19.5-metre barge, Q-LNG 4000, is designed to carry 4,000 cubic metres of LNG.
Once complete in the first quarter of 2020, the LNG ATB will be chartered on a long-term contract by Shell, and will supply necessary LNG fuel to various ports in Florida and the Caribbean.
Q-LNG was formed in November and is 20 per cent owned by Harvey Gulf International Marine and 80 per cent owned by its chief executive officer Shane Guidry.