Crowley to build larger, faster ATBs

(JACKSONVILLE, FL — September 27, 2007) Crowley Maritime Corporation has signed a contract to build three articulated tug-barge (ATB), 330,000-barrel tank vessels, the largest in the company’s history and the fastest in their class.

VT Halter Marine will construct the 750-class barges in its shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.  Dakota Creek will build the 45,000 deadweight ton, 600-foot tugs in its Anacortes, Wash., shipyard.

Once received, the three new ATBs, named Legacy, Legend, and Liberty, will be operated in the U.S. coastwise trade by Crowley’s petroleum services segment.

The vessels incorporate environmental and safety features such as double-hull construction, a vapor collection system, and divided engine rooms. Other features include an enhanced mooring system and state-of-the art communication and navigation equipment. The barges have twin-screw engines generating a total of 16,320 horsepower.

“These ATBs are being constructed to be some of the largest and certainly the fastest in the trade,” said Steve Collar, a senior vice president. “Not only will they be able to carry 330,000-barrels of product safely, but we also expect them to do so quickly – to the tune of 15.1 knots.”

The new vessels will be delivered in yearly intervals between the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2013.  These three new vessels will bring Crowley’s total ATB fleet to 17, including four 155,000-barrel and ten 185,000-barrel ATBs.

By Professional Mariner Staff