These state-of-the-art barges, built by the Dutch shipyard VEKA Shipbuilding BV, will support Shell’s growing business in trading and transporting mineral oil products in the ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp) and Rhinetrack (Germany/Switzerland) regions. 

Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime said: “These innovative new vessels will enable a step-change in the safety and environmental performance of our barge fleet. Chartering these cutting-edge vessels from owners who share our vision helps drive innovation in the barge sector, and we are proud to be leading in the development of LNG as a cleaner fuel for shipping.”

This investment underlines Shell’s confidence in LNG becoming a bigger part of the global transport fuel mix and supports the development of a new European LNG marine fuel industry for inland and coastal vessels. It is expected that these barges will refuel with LNG from the new LNG for Transport supply infrastructure, called a ‘LNG break bulk’ terminal, currently being built by the Gas Access to Europe (Gate) terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The 110 metre long barges have been designed for improved environmental performance, safety and optimal cargo carrying capacity in various water conditions. Their main engines provided by Wärtsilä will run on 95- 98% LNG fuel with a small proportion of diesel used for ignition.

A staggered delivery of the barges is expected to take place between late-2016 and mid- 2018.

Notes to Editors:

Demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry is increasing due to emissions reduction requirements scheduled that came into force in January 2015. 

Shell is the first customer of a new, dedicated LNG for transport infrastructure. This dedicated LNG for transport supply infrastructure was announced in July 2014 - "Shell in terminal expansion deal to boost LNG fuel for transport". To serve marine customers, Shell is building an innovative bunker vessel with a capacity of around 6,500 cubic metres to facilitate ship to ship transfer operations, and deliver LNG from the Gate Terminal. It is planned that the 15  new barges will be refuelled via a combination of Truck-to-Ship locations and bunker stations linked to this terminal.

Shell’s support helped launch Greenstream and GreenRhine, the world’s first LNG-powered barges to carry goods along Europe’s River Rhine.

Shell has chartered two special LNG-powered Offshore Supply Vessels (Harvey Energy and Harvey Power) for its deep water operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The development of these vessels and its supporting infrastructure strengthens Shell’s position in Europe’s natural gas and LNG market. Global LNG trading began 50 years ago, when Shell brought the world’s first commercial LNG cargo from Algeria to the UK.

Shell Shipping & Maritime manages over 40 LNG carriers – making Shell one of the largest LNG carrier operators.

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Shell has been in the business of shipping since the late 1800s. Today we manage one of the largest fleets of crude oil, oil products tankers and liquefied natural gas carriers in the world - all playing a vital role in the safe and secure delivery of energy.