Some ATB barges scrapped as ballast water rules kick in


(HOUSTON) — North American tugboat owners are retiring aging barges in articulated tug-barge (ATB) units instead of installing ballast water treatment systems to comply with national and international rules, Tug Technology & Business reported.

One of the leaders in the North American inland and coastal towing market, Kirby Corp., said that it will take some of its units out of service instead of paying for treatment systems.

“Investing to meet this requirement in these aging barges would be financially unattractive,” said David Grzebinski, Kirby president and chief executive officer. “We expect we will early retire these ATBs at their next shipyard dates, which range between 2020 and 2023.”

Kirby plans to spend about $25 million this year on installing ballast water treatment systems on its younger coastal ATBs.

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By Professional Mariner Staff