Bouchard christens its 18th ATB

Kim 270 Sternview

The following is the text of a news release from Bouchard Transportation Co.:

(MELVILLE, N.Y.) — Bouchard Transportation Co., the nation’s largest independently owned oceangoing petroleum barge company, proudly celebrated the christening of the tugboat M/V Kim M. Bouchard and the barge B. No. 270 on Tuesday in New Orleans.

The ceremony was honored by the Monsignor James Vlaun, who blessed the vessels, and Marie Romais, wife of Dimitri Romais, chartering manager of SeaRiver Maritime, and was attended by executives from Bouchard, VT Halter Marine and several Bouchard Transportation customers, business partners and regulatory agencies.

B. No. 270 was launched at VT Halter Shipyard Operations in Pascagoula, Miss., on Friday, May 1. The tug, Kim M. Bouchard, was launched at the Moss Point Marine facility in Escatawpa, Miss., on Feb. 26 and is named after the older sister of Morton S. Bouchard III, president and CEO of Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. Constructed independently of each other, and now paired, M/V Kim M. Bouchard and B. No. 270 are the largest vessels to date in Bouchard's ongoing fleet expansion program. These are the first of two articulated tug-barge (ATB) units being constructed by VT Halter Marine; the second sister ship is M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272, which is on schedule for a January 2016 delivery.

B. No. 270 measures 628 feet by 91 feet by 47 feet, has a 260,000-barrel capacity and is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service. B. No.270 is fully manned and equipped with a crude-oil washing system, inert gas system, clean water ballast system, four cargo pumps, two ballast pumps and two anchors.

Kim M. Bouchard is a 10,000-hp twin screw, single wheelhouse tug. It is classed by ABS as an A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter M, and is equipped with an Intercon coupler system. Paired with B. No. 270, the unit will be used to transport liquid petroleum for Bouchard Transportation.

“The delivery of the M/V Kim M. Bouchard and the barge B. No 270 continues with our founding fathers and four generations of Bouchard’s philosophy of investing our profits in new, modern equipment to service our customers in the most efficient and environmentally safest manner possible," said Morton S. Bouchard III. "We are very confident that the M/V Kim Bouchard and B. No. 270 will provide our customers with the safest and highest quality of service that they have come to expect from Bouchard Transportation, for close to 100 years. The Kim and B. No. 270 will be Bouchard’s 18th ATB unit and the safest and most technologically advanced unit of its kind. I would also like to thank the hard-working employees of VT Halter for the for the delivery of another well-built tug and barge unit, and wish the crew of the M/V Kim M. Bouchard and B.NO.270 safe and smooth sailings for years to come."

By Professional Mariner Staff