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Crowley Christens New Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) Tank Vessel – Third of 10 New 185,000-barrel Units to be Built

(Mobile, Ala.; Aug. 15, 2007) – Yesterday, Crowley Maritime Corporation christened the third 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 Resolve and barge 650-3.

During ceremonies held at the Mobile Convention Center on South Water Street, Nancy Schlueter, wife of Ed Schlueter, vice president of Crowley’s Vessel Management Services (VMS) christened the Resolve, while Alison Haber-Djuve, wife of Karsten Djuve, regional chartering manager, BP Shipping USA, christened barge 650-3.

Crowley’s Petroleum Services group will charter the VT Halter Marine-built ATB from VMS, and operate it for BP under a seven-year agreement. With the issuance of a Green Passport, the 650-3 is the first tank barge to be certified by Lloyd’s Register Group as satisfying the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) “Guidelines on Ship Recycling”. The Green Passport program was developed by Lloyd’s Register Group to assist vessel operators in meeting the IMO Guidelines. This certification ensures that any and all potentially hazardous materials that went into the original construction of the barge have been identified and will be properly disposed of when the barge ceases trading at the end of its useful life.

Crowley already has four, 155,000-barrel ATBs and two 185,000-barrel ATBs operating.

“We continue to receive positive feedback about these ATBs, which further validates our continued investment in the build program,” said Tom Crowley Jr., company chairman, president and CEO. “The ATBs that we currently have in service consistently provide reliable, efficient and safe transportation for the petroleum products they are contracted to carry.”

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 650-3 was built at Halter’s shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., and the Resolve 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. 

VT Halter Marine is the marine operations arm of Vision Technologies Systems. Based in Pascagoula, Miss., it is a leader in the design and construction of medium-sized ships in the United States. VT Halter Marine designs, builds and repairs a wide variety of ocean-going vessels such as patrol vessels, oil recovery vessels, oil cargo vessels, ferries, logistic support vessels and survey vessels. Please visit www.vthaltermarine.com.

Vision Technologies Systems (VTS) is a provider of integrated engineering solutions, specializing in the fields of aerospace, electronics, land systems, and marine. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., VTS has locations throughout North America. VTS offers a broad range of proven innovative services to both the commercial and government sectors. VTS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd. Please visit www.vt-systems.com.

About Crowley Maritime Corporation

Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in San Francisco in 1892, is primarily a family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of five operating lines of business: Liner Services; Logistics Services; Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Other services provided within these business lines include contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response; vessel management, 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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