Shipbuilding News, December 2017

VT Halter launches second LNG con-ro for Crowley

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s second container/roll-on/roll-off (con-ro) ship powered by liquefied natural gas is in the water.

VT Halter Marine launched the 720-foot Taino earlier this month at its Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard. The U.S.-flagged vessel is scheduled to enter into service next year, not long after sister vessel El Coqui. Both ships will serve the Puerto Rico Jones Act trade.

El Coqui is undergoing final testing and will enter service in early 2018, according to Crowley.

Both vessels will have the capacity for 2,400 TEUs and up to 400 cars and vehicles in weather-tight decks. Depending on the configuration, the ship also can accommodate refrigerated containers and high-capacity units.

The Commitment-class ships are among the first LNG-fueled con-ros built anywhere in the world. Crowley said LNG eliminates sulfur oxide and particulate matter emissions while sharply reducing nitrogen oxide emissions. Carbon emissions from LNG also are lower than standard marine diesel.

Fuel for the new ships will come from a terminal that Crowley is developing in Jacksonville, Fla., with Eagle LNG Partners. Crowley said a European company is building twin 260-ton tanks at JaxPort’s Talleyrand Marine Terminal.

Foss, Metal Shark building Damen-designed vessels

Damen Shipyards’ push into the U.S. market continues to gain momentum. The company recently announced deals with Foss Maritime on tugboats and Metal Shark on a unique crew boat design.

The tugboat agreement calls for Foss to build and market the Damen ASD 2813 tugboat. Foss will build at least four in a series of up to 10 ship-assist tugs at its own shipyard in Rainier, Ore. Those initial four boats will be delivered in 2019.

Foss said it will upgrade its fleet with some vessels in the new series, while others will be available to other operators.

The Metal Shark agreement calls for the Louisiana shipyard to build the Damen FCS 7011 fast crew boat for American customers. The aluminum vessel incorporates Damen’s unique “Sea Axe” bow design as well as its ride control system. It can reach speeds of 40 knots and carry up to 150 people.

Eastern delivers massive ATB hopper dredge

Eastern Shipbuilding of Panama City, Fla., has delivered the first articulated tug-barge (ATB) hopper dredge built in the U.S.

The vessel built for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. consists of the 15,442-hp tug Douglas B. Mackie and hopper dredge barge Ellis Island with its 14,788-cubic-yard capacity. The barge is the largest of its kind in the American fleet.

“This addition to our fleet represents a great milestone in Great Lakes’ history," said Lasse Petterson, chief executive officer for the Oak Brook, Ill.-based operator. "Ellis Island is capable of meeting the current and future U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’, state and U.S. ports’ deepening, coastal protection, coastal restoration and maintenance dredging infrastructure demands.

Ellis Island’s haul capacity and dredging systems will yield more efficient and faster project execution,” he added.

The new ATB already has a job lined up. After departing Eastern, the vessel will transit to Mississippi for a coastal restoration project.

Washburn & Doughty building two hybrid tugs

Maine shipbuilder Washburn & Doughty has been awarded a contract to build two hybrid tugboats that will be the first of their kind in the U.S.

The two vessels for Houston-based Harbor Docking and Towing will feature a complete Caterpillar propulsion system that includes 3512E main engines, C18 generator sets, a C7.1 generator set, shaft lines and MTA 628 azimuth drives. Caterpillar also will supply booster motors, switchgear and other components.

“The hybrid propulsion system yields substantial maintenance cost savings, reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions and a smaller DEF tank size,” Caterpillar said in a news release. DEF refers to the chemical added to engine exhaust aftertreatment systems to meet EPA Tier 4 standards.

Washburn & Doughty of East Boothbay, Maine, will design the vessels based on the firm’s proven 93-foot platform. The propulsion system will not include batteries like some existing hybrid tugs.

Bouchard picks VT Halter, Bollinger for latest ATB project

Bouchard Transportation Co. of Melville, N.Y., has hired VT Halter Marine and Bollinger Shipyards for its latest ATB project.

The 4,000-hp Evening Breeze will be paired with the 317-foot Barge No. 252, which will have a capacity of 55,000 barrels. The Tier 4-compliant tug will be a sister vessel to Denise A. Bouchard and Evening Star.

VT Halter will build the tugboat and Lockport, La.-based Bollinger will build the barge. The vessels will be connected with the latest Intercon coupler system. The Jones Act-compliant vessels will move petroleum products.

Evening Breeze and Barge No. 252 are scheduled for delivery in 2019.

Chesapeake launches new series for American Cruise Lines

Chesapeake Shipbuilding has launched the river cruise ship American Song from its Salisbury, Md., shipyard.

American Song is the lead vessel in American Cruise Lines’ new riverboat series. It has five decks and space for 190 passengers in 102 staterooms. A retractable gangway will extend from the ship to a riverbank or dock. Propulsion comes from twin Caterpillar diesel mains and Veth z-drives installed forward and aft.

The vessel is scheduled to enter service next fall on the Mississippi River. It will lead itineraries on the Columbia and Snake rivers the following year.

Bollinger building ferry for North Carolina DOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has ordered a River-class ferry from Bollinger Shipyards. The vessel is based on a design from Elliott Bay Design Group of Seattle.

The 183-foot ferry will hold 38 standard vehicles. Upon delivery in March 2019, it will replace the smaller 22-year-old ferry Thomas A. Baum.

“This is a great first step in phasing out our smaller boats and replacing them with larger ones,” said Harold Thomas, director of the department's Ferry Division. “Eventually it will allow us to increase our capacity with the same number of scheduled trips.”

Elliott Bay also designed the department’s latest car ferry, Sea Level, which was christened five years ago.

By Professional Mariner Staff