A Joint Venture between VT Group and Marlow Navigation Netherlands has signed a ship management agreement with Shell for the technical and crew management of 40 new-built Inland Tankers.
This new venture bundles extensive expertise, with Marlow to lead the crew management and VT Group to be in charge of technical and operational management. The VT Group specialises in inland shipping, transporting minerals, chemical products, biofuels, and lubricants.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with VT Group on this exciting and innovative new project. Although Inland Shipping is a relatively new field for us, we are confident that the Marlow Group, together with our global network of agencies, will be able to provide crew management solutions that exceed the expectations of this sector,” states Managing Director, Marlow Navigation Netherlands, Frans Roelse.
The design of the vessels is being adapted to maximise the cargo carrying capacity on the Dutch, Belgian, and German canal and river networks. Each of the 3,500T inland water barges will have extreme shallow draught capabilities and be equipped with an LNG propulsion system.
An investment group of institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management has contracted with the Concordia Damen shipyard in Werkendam to build the 40 eco-friendly dual-fuel barges. Shell is the bareboat charterer of all the vessels.
“Inland navigation plays an important role in the delivery of Shell’s products in Europe. By using ships that can ship products even with low water, we can keep our service level high. Combined with the use of a less polluting fuel, this gives us a nice position on European inland waterways,” said Shell's Freight Trading Manager, Martin van Veen in a statement on social media.
The first vessel is expected to be delivered in November 2021, followed by a vessel each month thereafter, completing the order by December 2024.