Jackson County

Jackson County shipbuilder names new vessel to transport liquefied natural gas

VT Halter Marine officially named its new LNG ship during a ceremony Monday morning that featured U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo and Mississippi’s two senators, Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith.

“There is a reason we are here today,” Palazzo told the crowd of workers and local dignitaries. “We have the best shipbuilders on earth right here in Jackson County, Mississippi. Let’s build another one as soon as possible.”

VT Halter Marine was awarded a contract in late 2017 to build the first ATB LNG vessel constructed in America. ATB stands for articulated tug and barge, and LNG stands for liquefied natural gas.

The company says the ship, named Q-LNG 4000, will be integral part of the LNG infrastructure development in the cruise entertainment and commercial sectors.

The ship is designed to provide ship-to-ship transfers of LNG to vessels that use LNG as a fuel source, and also ship-to-shore transfers to small scare marine distribution infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico and abroad.

The ship is part of a long-term contract with Shell Trading Co. to deliver LNG as a fuel source to ports in Florida and the Caribbean.

The ship’s anticipated delivery date is the first quarter of 2020.

Hyde-Smith praised the company’s workers for their “success, professionalism and commitment” to their craft, adding that there “are not a lot of people in this country who work as hard as you do.”

VT Halter Marine, the marine operations arm of VT Systems, is based in Pascagoula and is a leader in the design and construction of medium-sized ships in the United States.