VT Halter launches ATB barge for Bouchard Transportation

The following is the text of a news release from Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc.:

(MELVILLE, N.Y.) — Bouchard Transportation Co. proudly announces the launch of barge B. No. 270, the first of two articulated tug-barge (ATB) units constructed by VT Halter Marine Inc., a company of Vision Technologies Systems Inc.

Barge B. No. 270 was launched at the Pascagoula shipyard operations in Pascagoula, Miss., on Friday, May 1. The tug Kim M. Bouchard, part of the ATB unit, was launched at the Moss Point marine facility in Escatawpa, Miss., on Feb. 26. When paired, Kim M. Bouchard and barge B. No. 270 will be delivered to Bouchard, the nation’s largest independently owned oceangoing petroleum barge companies, as part of their ongoing fleet expansion program.

Barge B. No. 270 measures 625 feet by 91 feet by 47 feet, has a 250,000-barrel capacity, and is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service. The Kim M. Bouchard is a 10,000-hp twin screw ATB tug and is classed by ABS as an A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter M, and is equipped with an Intercon coupler system. When paired with barge B. No. 270, the unit will be used to transport liquid petroleum for Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. (Bouchard). The sister unit, M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272, is also currently under construction at VT Halter Marine.

“Launching the B. No 270 is another significant milestone for Bouchard,” said Morton S. Bouchard III, president and CEO of Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. “Once married, the Kim and B. No. 270 will be Bouchard’s 18th ATB unit and the safest and most technologically advanced unit of its kind. I’m looking forward to delivery and I am grateful to everyone involved in construction for another fine job.”

“We are proud to have launched another quality and efficiently built barge for our long standing customer Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc.,” said Bill Skinner, chief executive officer, VT Halter Marine. “We are pleased to have been chosen by the Bouchard family to construct their modern, safe and efficient Jones Act ATB vessels.”

By Professional Mariner Staff