RR Panfido entrusted the design of the LNG barge for Venice
The Venice-based company, having signed the related agreement with Sener of Spain, expects to complete the unit within September 2020
Contrary to the expectations of Northern Adriatic Sea Port Authority's President Pino Musolino, the LNG Barge providing liquefied natural gas bunkering services in the port of Venice will not be designed by a Venetian company.
As a matter of fact, Rimorchiatori Riuniti Panfido entrusted the engineering design and technical assistance of the unit – described as an “LNG tugboat combined with a barge transporting LNG with a capacity of 4,000 cubic meters” - to the Spanish firm Sener, headquartered in the Basque Countries and with branches across the world, with which it signed an agreement in July.
RR Panfido chairman Davide Calderan – whose company was granted a concession for towage services in Venice and Chioggia – explained that Sener was chosen due to several factors related both to its economic offer and to its technical skills, as well as to the rapid delivery times guaranteed for the project, whose initial part and technical specifications should be completed by the end of the month.
“At that point we will start the selection process to choose the shipyard which will build the ship, that must be delivered within September 2020”, the manager explained. The time limit is shorter than the one provided for the completion of the project Venice LNG (carried out by Decal for the creation of a liquefied natural gas coastal depot with a capacity of 32,000 cubic meters at Porto Marghera, which should supply Panfido's bunker barge, ed.), which, according to Calderan, will probably not be completed before the beginning of 2021. “Our company is coordinating with Venice LNG so that the unit's technical specifications are compatible with those of the future depot and vice versa”. However, should the latter not be available, “we are ready to find other gas supply solutions”, i.e. the KrK LNG terminal under construction in Croatia, via truck or ship.
As concerns its technical specification – Calderan went on – it is a single unit that can be divided into two separate components: a tugboat and a barge that will be able to work separately (for instance, the former could operate as a port tug, while the latter could be berthed at the quay). However, the manager pointed out that the company plans to use it exclusively for bunkering activities. The dual fuel Voith model unit with a 65 tons bollard pull capacity is equipped with systems to store 4,000 cubic meters of LNG and 1,000 cubic meters of marine diesel oil (MDO), and it can carry out towage, escorting, rescue, supply and salvage services.
For its bunker barge, RR Panfido can count on a 11.7 million euro financing granted within the European project Poseidon MED II (initially intended to support the Venice offshore port project - which was rejected – in particular the creation of a mama vessel prototype, i.e. the vessels which should have shuttled between the offshore terminal and dry land). Without going into details about the total investments for the project, Calderan explained that the amount will cover up to 50% of costs related to the design and construction of all the “gas-related” elements such as tanks, duel fuel engine etc.