Vigor launches liquefied gas carrier for Jones Act trade

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The following is the text of a news release from Vigor:

(PORTLAND, Ore.) — Vigor recently launched Harvest, the first complex liquefied ammonia transport barge built in the United States for the Jones Act trade since 1982. The vessel was constructed to support the operations of The Mosaic Company, the world’s leading integrated producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash. Harvest will be operated by a subsidiary of Savage Cos. as part of an articulated tug-barge (ATB) unit.

“This is a significant project for both the maritime industry and our community,” said Vigor CEO Frank Foti. “We’ve worked hard to bring together a family of companies designed to take our complex fabrication capabilities to the next level and bring new work to the Pacific Northwest.”

Over the past 23 months, the project supported approximately 1,500 American jobs and involved close to 1 million labor hours at Vigor facilities in Oregon and Washington and subcontractors throughout the region. Teams used 9,000 tons of American rolled steel to complete the 508-by-96-foot ATB tank barge.

The industries behind large marine vessels and complex metal structures in Oregon and southwest Washington provide economic balance to the region and strengthen the middle class by employing the industrial artisans whose passion and skills are attracting new business to the area and creating family-wage jobs. 

“The NH3 barge project brings our vision to life,” said Foti. “It combines Vigor’s capabilities in large vessel construction with decades of experience building complex structures like nuclear containment devices, dam lift gates and bridges. It’s proof that the industrial artisans who are a huge part of the Portland and southwest Washington economies are the reason we are nationally competitive.”

Successful completion of the first U.S.-flagged liquefied gas carrier built in decades hinged on extensive project planning and management between Vigor, multiple contractors, designers and its customer, Savage. Careful integration of various complex systems was required to support Harvest’s state-of-the-art, onboard reliquefaction plant that keeps cargo cooled to -27 degrees Fahrenheit. Vigor subcontractor J.H. Kelly, based in Longview, Wash., was a key partner in this effort, providing the onboard electrical work as well as fabrication and installation of the cargo piping systems for the plant. 

Built to the highest American Bureau of Shipping and U.S. Coast Guard safety standards, the first-in-class Harvest was completed on an aggressive timeline.

“It was an honor to partner with Savage and Mosaic on this project,” said Joe Corvelli, Vigor senior vice president and program manager. “It was their close collaboration throughout the vessel construction that helped maintain an efficient and well-executed build.”

Savage, one of the country’s leading supply chain solutions companies, has been steadily increasing its footprint in the marine industry. “We chose Vigor for this project following an extensive search. Their unique capabilities combined with our shared commitment to safety and environmental integrity were key drivers in our decision,” said Kirk Aubry, Savage president and CEO. “We’ve been extremely pleased with Vigor’s focus on safety and commitment to quality throughout the construction process. We look forward to operating the ATB and providing transportation services to support this critical link in Mosaic’s supply chain.”

Principal characteristics:
Length: 508 feet
Beam: 96 feet
Depth: 51 feet
Draft (full load): 26.6 feet
Cargo tank capacity: 22,000 ST @ 96 percent
Cargo tank: Type A prismatic tank (4)
Cargo: Refrigerated liquid NH3 carried at –27 degrees F
Onboard reliquefaction system for cargo maintenance
Gensets: Four 940 kW, one 163 kW
Fuel storage capacity: 27,250 gallons
Articouple connection system
USCG- and ABS-approved ballast water treatment system

By Professional Mariner Staff