NorthStar Midstream Orders New Jones Act LNG Barge

The JAX LNG terminal in Jacksonville, Florida (Southern Company)

By The Maritime Executive 08-23-2019 08:14:41

The U.S. East Coast will soon have a new coastwise LNG transportation service, according to energy firm NorthStar Midstream. 

NorthStar has formed a new entity, Polaris New Energy, for LNG transportation in the Jones Act trade. Its first vessel will be a 5,400 cubic meter (1.4 million gallon) LNG-carrying ATB, and it recently signed an agreement with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for the cargo barge's construction. The contract includes the option for two additional hulls. 

The first of NorthStar's ATB will be deployed on the East Coast to carry LNG fuel from the newly built JAX LNG terminal in Jacksonville to bunkering customers. 

“We see increased domestic industries looking to LNG as their future fuel source, and we are extremely excited to be on the forefront of LNG domestic marine transportation," said Northstar's executive president of LNG, Tim Casey. "This is a first step in Oaktree and NorthStar’s strategy to create a complete platform of LNG logistical solutions for U.S. customers.”

JAX LNG opened for business in May 2019, and it has the capacity to produce about 120,000 gallons of LNG per day, enough to fill the barge in about eleven days. Onsite storage tanks can accommodate up to two million gallons of product. The site is large enough to add two more liquefaction trains if expansion is needed, which would allow it to produce as much as 600,000 gallons per day. 

JAX LNG currently provides the fuel for North America's first non-self-propelled LNG bunkering barge, the Clean Jacksonville (video below), which was delivered last year by Conrad Shipyard. The Clean Jacksonville provides bunkering for TOTE Maritime's two LNG-fueled container ships, which serve the Florida-Puerto Rico route. 

The Clean Jacksonville, which bunkers two TOTE Maritime vessels with fuel from JAX LNG