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Shell strikes deal with Q-LNG for new LNG bunker barge

Royal Dutch Shell has expanded its marine liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering network by finalizing on a long-term charter deal with Q-LNG Transport for an LNG bunker barge through its subsidiary Shell Trading (US).

Financial terms of the charter deal have not been revealed by the parties.

The ocean-going LNG bunker barge has a carrying capacity of 4,000m3 of LNG fuel. It will deliver LNG to marine customers located along the US southern East Coast and support increasing cruise line demand for LNG marine fuel.

Shell Trading (US), which will buy the LNG bunker barge, is engaged in buying and selling of physical crude oil, finished products, and feedstocks, along with selling of various paper products. The Shell subsidiary began operations in 1998.

Shell integrated gas and new energies director Maarten Wetselaar said: “This investment in LNG as a marine fuel for the US will provide the shipping industry with a fuel that helps meet tougher emissions regulations from 2020.

"Our commitment in the Americas builds on Shell's existing LNG bunkering activities in Singapore and Europe, as well as recently announced plans in the Middle East and gives us the ability to deliver LNG as a marine fuel to customers around the world."

Q-LNG Transport will own and construct the LNG bunker barge while Harvey Gulf International Marine will handle its operations.

The LNG bunker barge will have its pioneering design and delivery capabilities, stated Shell. It is anticipated to be efficient and maneuverable, apart from featuring an innovative transfer system to allow it to load LNG from either big or small terminals and bunker a range of customers.

According to Shell, there is an increase in ship owners and operators who are opting for cleaner-burning LNG fuel rather than traditional marine fuels. This, it says, is to meet the sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations, including the recent decision from International Maritime Organization's (IMO) to enforce a worldwide sulphur cap of 0.5% in 2020.

Image: Q-LNG 4000 vessel on duty. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsfoto/Shell.