Fincantieri Bay delivers new self-unloading barge to VanEnkevort

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(STURGEON BAY, Wis.) — Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and VanEnkevort Tug & Barge Inc. have announced the delivery of a new self-unloading barge for operation on the Great Lakes.

The new barge, Michigan Trader, measures 740 feet in length, 78 feet in beam, and 45 feet in depth. The barge has a 265-foot unloading boom and capacity for up to 37,000 long tons of cargo.

“This Michigan Trader will be the fourth self-unloading barge in our Great Lakes fleet, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome her into service,” says David Groh, president of VanEnkevort Tug & Barge.

Michigan Trader will join as the 10th barge in the VanEnkevort Tug & Barge fleet, with services on the Great Lakes, Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.

“Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has always provided repair services to VTB and built the hull for their first new tug the Joyce VanEnkevort,” said Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. “The completion and delivery of the Michigan Trader to Dave Groh and his VTB team is another proud event for FBS and our talented shipbuilding team.”

“The repair work that Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has completed for us over the years has been good,” Groh said. “We are happy to have partnered with them for this new vessel and are thrilled to support the Great Lakes region and its industry. Our growing customer base has supported our vision and we have responded with this new build barge. We are happy to have been able to bring this opportunity to FBS and work with their talented workforces on this project.”

Utilizing top-quality materials and parts from suppliers across the Midwest, the project’s supply chain is a noteworthy part of the vessel’s completion. Substantial local suppliers were Broadwind Heavy Industries of Manitowoc, Wis., which built Michigan Trader’s 265-foot boom, Northern Machine & Repair Inc. provided its hatch covers, and Marine Travel Lift in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., manufactured the cargo hatch crane along with many more local parts and services.

“We are happy to have supported the Great Lakes economy during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Thayse said. “From boom to hatch crane, and everything in between, this vessel shows the greatness of Wisconsin and Midwest manufacturing and our Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding employees.”

– Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

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By Professional Mariner Staff