VESSEL REVIEW | Polaris & Clean Canaveral – Largest Jones Act-compliant LNG bunkering ATB to serve southeastern US market

Photo: Polaris New Energy

US marine fuels company Polaris New Energy (PNE) recently took delivery of a new 5,500-cubic-metre LNG bunkering barge from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin-based Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS).

The ABS Oceans-classed Clean Canaveral has an LOA of 340 feet (103 metres), a beam of 66 feet (20 metres), and four 1,375-cubic-metre IMO Type C cargo tanks. It will operate as part of an articulated tug and barge (ATB) unit, which also includes the pusher tug Polaris built by Master Boat Builders of Coden, Alabama. Its 5,500-cubic-metre cargo capacity makes it the largest LNG bunkering ATB to be built in compliance with the US Jones Act.

Photo: Polaris New Energy

Polaris meanwhile has a total installed power of 4,000 hp (2,982 kW), an LOA of 108 feet (33.22 metres), a beam of 65 feet (20 metres), a draught of 16 feet (4.9 metres), a gross tonnage of 498, and a speed of just over 10 knots.

The barge is the first in a series of two that FBS is building for PNE. These will supply LNG to both inland and ocean-going vessels. Among the initial customers are LNG-fueled cruise ships making calls at Port Canaveral in Florida.

McAllister Towing LNG Services, a company under New York-based McAllister Towing, is the operator of the Polaris/Clean Canaveral ATB.

Photo: McAllister Towing

Clean Canaveral was delivered to PNE in December 2021 while Polaris followed in March 2022. The ATB has already begun operating out of the homeport of Jacksonville, Florida. The LNG is sourced from the nearby JAX LNG facility, which has a storage capacity of two million gallons (7.57 million litres) and is operated by PNE parent company NorthStar Midstream in partnership with Pivotal LNG. The ATB has commenced providing bunkering services to customers in the Gulf of Mexico and along the US East Coast, beginning with the transfer of 661 tons (600 tonnes) of LNG to an AET-owned tanker in late March 2022.

Construction will also soon begin at FBS on the second LNG bunkering barge in the same series. As with Clean Canaveral, the second barge will also be utilised as a small-scale LNG carrier to supply LNG to shore facilities in addition to operating as a bunkering platform. PNE said delivery of this second barge is scheduled for the end of 2023.

Photo: Polaris New Energy

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Polaris & Clean Canaveral
Type of vessel:Articulated tug and barge
Classification:American Bureau of Shipping
Owner:Polaris New Energy, USA
Operator:McAllister Towing LNG Services, USA
Builders:Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, USA; Master Boat Builders, USA
Length overall:Barge – 340 feet (103 metres); tug – 108 feet (33.22 metres)
Beam:Barge – 66 feet (20 metres); tug – 65 feet (22 metres)
Draught:16 feet (4.9 metres)
Capacity:5,500 cubic metres
Maximum speed:10 knots
Operational area:Gulf of Mexico; US East Coast

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