ACBL orders 11,000-hp towboat from C&C Marine

(JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.) — American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) has announced a contract with C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, La., to build an 11,000-horsepower towboat.

“We are investing in our future by building on the strength of our industry-leading mainline operations. The addition of this new towboat is an example of our continuous efforts to modernize ACBL’s fleet and offer more innovative marine transportation solutions to our customers,” said company CEO Mike Ellis. “Not only is this boat high-powered and highly capable, but it will also feature all the latest innovations in technology, crew comfort, safety and efficiency. We look forward to working with Tony (Cibilich) and his team at C&C on this project.”

ACBL rendering

Upon delivery, the vessel will operate on ACBL’s mainline network, pushing up to 56 barges averaging approximately 75,000 tons of cargo. Designed by Portland, Maine-based CT Marine, the twin-screw towboat will measure 198 by 50 by 12 feet, with the pilothouse eyeline at 47 feet above the water.

“When comparing this 11,000-hp class towboat to smaller 6,000-hp class towboats frequently used for mainline operations, this larger horsepower vessel will increase efficiency by 20 percent or more on both a cost-per-ton mile and CO2-emission-per-ton mile basis due to the increase in tow size and tonnage capacity,” said Patrick Sutton, ACBL chief operating officer. “Our investment in this new towboat not only benefits our customers but also reflects our commitment to promoting a more sustainable and low-carbon future for our marine supply chain.”

“This vessel is the first of several that we hope to construct, as there is a need for vessels with this kind of horsepower in the market,” said C&C Marine and Repair President Tony Cibilich. “We are proud to lead this project and know that it will contribute greatly to both ACBL’s customers and the capacity of the inland shipping industry once in operation. We are wrapping up detailed design and are expected to commence construction later this year with an estimated delivery date of third quarter 2024.”

The design includes two Caterpillar C280-12 main engines producing approximately 11,000 hp, provided by Louisiana Cat. They will be paired with two Reintjes WAF
6755 reduction gears provided by Karl Senner LLC. Auxiliary power will be supplied by three Caterpillar 275-kW generators.

The towboat will be outfitted with CT Marine CT28-SL nozzles housing 124-inch-diameter, stainless-steel, five-blade fixed-pitch propellers, along with twin differential flanking and steering rudder systems.

The vessel will be able to accommodate a crew of up to 12 and the design incorporates a floating spring-mounted superstructure for additional crew comfort.

– American Commercial Barge Line

By Rich Miller