ACBL awards contract for 11,000-hp towboat

CT Marine of Portland, Maine, designed the towboat, which is scheduled for delivery this year.
CT Marine of Portland, Maine, designed the towboat, which is scheduled for delivery this year.
CT Marine of Portland, Maine, designed the towboat, which is scheduled for delivery this year.

American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) has awarded a contract to C&C Marine and Repair to build a new 11,000-hp towboat capable of moving 56 barges loaded with up to 75,000 tons of cargo. 

ACBL, based in Jeffersonville, Ind,, selected CT Marine of Portland, Maine, to design the twin-screw vessel, which will measure 198 feet by 50 feet. The pilothouse will have a 47-foot eye level to see over the massive barge tows. Delivery is slated for late 2024.

“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,” ACBL’s CEO Mike Ellis said in a May news release.

Propulsion on the new vessel will come from two Caterpillar C280-12 main engines from Louisiana Cat turning 124-inch stainless-steel props in nozzles through Reintjes reduction gears. Three Cat gensets will each produce 275 kW of electrical power.

“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’s chief operating officer.

C&C Marine, based in Belle Chasse, La., hopes to build more 11,000-hp towboats in the future. Shipyard President Tony Cibilich said there is a need in the market for towboats with this level of horsepower.