Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering Corp., of Milford, MA, USA has been selected to design a new high speed, LNG-fueled AT/B container carrier for Minyan Marine LLC, of Houston, TX. It will be the world’s first LNG-powered AT/B. The design will expand the firm’s participation in the AT/B container carrier field, as the firm was recently awarded the design work for a new container AT/B for the McAllister Bros./Maine Ports effort, developing a unit to run containers out of Portland, ME as part of the Marine Highway transport option.
Minyan Marine LLC is planning to operate high speed Jones Act AT/B cellular container carriers between the Gulf Coast and the East and West Coasts. The LNG-fueled, 15 knot (..actual, not theoretical or advertised ) units are of a fully cellular design and will also be capable of carrying project cargo as well as oversize loads, and will be based on OT&BE’s “RAPID” class AT/B design. This class of high speed AT/B’s was developed jointly with Taisei Engineering, of Tokyo, creators of the “ARTICOUPLE” AT/B connection system. The Articouple system will be employed on the new design. Model testing of the parent form has been completed and vessel design is now under way. Minyan’s proprietary economics, allow for pricing that will compare favorably with rail and highway transportation for the specific cargoes to be carried over the planned trade routes.
The AT/B’s barge portion will have a capacity of 1,056 TEU held within cell guides and eliminating the need for costly and time consuming lashing of boxes in port. The barge will feature a set of LNG fuel tanks adjacent to the tug notch and will employ a proprietary barge to tug gas fuel transfer system developed by OT&BE client Argent Marine. The barge will carry enough LNG to provide a round trip capability in gas fuel over the primary intended trade route.
The companion AT/B tug for this class will be a 12,000 BHP “RAPID” class vessel as well, specially designed to not only attain the speed required for the unit but also to be able to function fully as an ocean towing tug.. “No compromises were made in the design that would preclude her being able to operate without restriction when away from her barge…”, says Robert Hill, her designer. “This is not some sort of compromise design created to get added speed. “ says Hill.
The diesel/gas-electric tug will feature a group of four dual-fuel EMD DGB 12-710 variable speed main generator sets and the barge will have a pair of 8 cylinder EMD gensets of the same design. In addition each vessel will have smaller diesel fueled generators to provide power in port. The EMD gensets will have EcoMarine Propulsion Systems TeraTorq variable speed permanent magnet generators attached, and the propulsion motors on the tug, of 6000 HP each, will be of EcoMarine manufacture as will the entire propulsion drive power electronics. The control electronics will have Eco’s proprietary TeraTorq Inverter Modules deployed, as will the barge. The system will drive the 2000 HP bow thruster as well as specialized machinery on the barge. The electric drive system will allow for fuel savings and emissions reductions unparalleled to date in the maring propulsion market and is the most crew-friendly system available. “You will not need specially trained people to run and maintain this system”, Hill agreed.
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