Construction begins on RAL-designed fuel barges for Port of Prince Rupert

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) — Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) has announced that construction of Wolverine Terminals’ two new marine fuel barges began in late 2021 at Damen Shipyards in Vietnam.

The two new barges will be deployed for service at the Port of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, commencing operations in 2023. The service will offer marine fuel of differing grades and types to commercial vessel traffic entering the port.

The two barges are unique designs specifically tailored for the site and intended operations. There will be a rail/terminal barge and a distribution barge for the following basic operations:

• Transfer of tank rail cars on and off the rail/terminal barge at the existing Aquatrain Terminal in Prince Rupert.
• Tug-assisted transport of the rail/terminal barge between the Aquatrain Terminal and a new Wolverine Terminals mooring site, a distance of approximately 400 meters.
• Transfer of marine fuel from rail cars into fuel storage tanks located within the rail/terminal barge.
• Transfer of marine fuel from rail/terminal barge to the distribution barge.
• Tug-assisted transport of the distribution barge between the fuel service mooring site and approved locations within the port.
• Transfer of fuels from the distribution barge into large cargo vessels.

Both barge designs have been through detailed risk assessments and class approval from Lloyd’s Register and Transport Canada.

Robert Allan Ltd. rendering

The 12,400-dwt, 142-by-30-meter rail/terminal barge design incorporates the loading and storage of multiple tank rail cars and in-hull storage of marine fuels. The design includes a double hull, cargo handling equipment, tank heating, spill prevention and recovery equipment, and onboard and shore power availability at the operating facilities. The rail/terminal barge design solves many unique challenges in blending the rail and marine industries.

The 4,800-dwt, 78-by-20-meter distribution barge is very similar in design to other marine fuel distribution barges operating in the Port of Vancouver and other West Coast ports. The design incorporates a double hull, cargo handling equipment, tank heating, spill prevention and recovery equipment, onboard power generation, and operating facilities.

Wolverine Terminals contracted Robert Allan Ltd. in 2017 to develop and design these blank sheet designs with input and expertise from industry experts, class, Transport Canada and the entire design team.

– Robert Allan Ltd.

By Rich Miller