Crowley Christens New Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) Tank Vessel
Fourth of 10 New 185,000-barrel Units Due to be Built
(Charleston, S.C.; March 20, 2008) – Yesterday, Crowley Maritime Corporation christened the fourth of ten new 185,000-barrel Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) tank vessels that the company will take delivery of by the end of 2010. The vessels christened were the 9,280 HP-tug Integrity and barge 650-4.
During ceremonies held at the Charleston Cruise Terminal on Concord Street, Marcia Bartholme, wife of Rocky Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Pacific/Alaska region, christened the Integrity, while Barbara Baldwin, wife of Bob Baldwin, regional director, BP Shipping USA, christened barge 650-4.
Crowley’s petroleum services is chartering the VT Halter Marine-built ATB from Crowley’s technical services group, and operating it for BP under a time-charter agreement.
Crowley already has four, 155,000-barrel ATBs and three 185,000-barrel ATBs operating and has announced plans to build three larger 750-series (330,000-barrel capacity) ATBs for delivery by the middle of 2013. Once all vessels are received, the fleet will stand at 17.
“We are focused on our customers needs and as they continue to provide us with requests for larger and faster vessels of this type, we are certainly poised to respond,” said Steve Collar, senior vice president and general manager, technical services. “The ATBs not only provide reliable and efficient transportation for the petroleum products they are contracted to carry, but they have an outstanding safety record with zero spills to date.”
An ATB has an articulated, or hinged, connection system between the tug and barge, which allows movement in one axis, or plane in the critical area of fore and aft pitch.
Crowley and VT Halter Marine jointly designed the ATB tank vessel. The barge 650-4 was built at Halter’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., and the Integrity at its shipyard, in Moss Point, Miss.
The new ATBs feature the latest systems technology and double-hull construction for maximum safety and reliability. Not only does the unit have the capability of transporting refined products, but it can also carry heated cargoes and easy chemicals, which require special arrangements of vents, stripping systems, pump components and tank coatings above that normally required for product carriers.
All of Crowley’s ATBs are built under the ABS SafeHull program for environmental protection. This program puts the vessel design through an exhaustive review to identify structural loads and strengthen the vessel structure. The 650-Class barges will be 27,000 deadweight tons, 587 feet in length, 74 feet in breadth and 40 feet in depth. The fully loaded draft will be 30 feet.
There is an electric cargo pump in each of the 14 cargo tanks to assure maximum cargo integrity and segregation flexibility; two anchor windlasses and associated equipment to enable the vessel to accommodate offshore mooring operations; and a vacuum system with three retention tanks to easily handle cargo changes. There is also a nitrogen generator and vapor collection system for maximum safety. A layer of nitrogen covers products in the tanks to make the atmosphere too lean for combustion. An enhanced mooring system features 1,000-foot Spectra-type lines on split drums with a high-speed recovery rate of 100 feet per minute.
The tugs meet all SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and ABS criteria, and have a foam capable fire monitor; twin fuel-efficient heavy fuel oil engines; a noise reduction package; and other upgrades to increase crew comfort. The communication and navigation equipment is among the most technologically advanced in the industry today.
Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in San Francisco in 1892, is a privately held family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are the following services: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response; vessel management; vessel construction and naval architecture; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.
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