VT Halter Marine lays keel for Bouchard ATB

The following is the text of a news release from VT Halter Marine:

(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) (Jan. 13) — VT Halter Marine, a subsidiary of VT Systems Inc., today laid the keel for barge B No. 270, which is, in part, one of two articulated tug barge (ATB) units being built for Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc.

The barge measures 625 feet by 91 feet by 47 feet, has a 250,000-barrel capacity and will be used to transport liquid petroleum. The barge is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service.

Construction of the two units began in April 2013 at VT Halter Marine’s Pascagoula facility, with delivery scheduled for mid-2015. VT Halter Marine has also scheduled a Feb. 6, 2014 launch for the oceangoing 112-foot, 4,000 hp ATB tug Denise A. Bouchard, sister tug to the previously built Evening Star. Measuring 112 feet by 35 feet by 17 feet, the tug is classed by ABS as an A1 towing vessel, dual mode, and is equipped with an Intercon coupler system. Upon delivery, the ATB units and the offshore tug will enter into Bouchard’s fleet service in New York, N.Y.

“Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc. is pleased with the progress of construction of the M/V Kim M. Bouchard and B. No. 270 and the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272, the most modern, safest and efficient ATBs ever built for the Jones Act trade, as well as the M/V Denise A. Bouchard, which will be married up to the B. No. 284," said Morty S. Bouchard IV, vice president of operations for Bouchard Transportation.

“The laying of the keel marks a major milestone in the construction schedule for these units. With construction of this first barge under way and the upcoming launch of the ATB tug, we proudly look forward to delivering these quality-built ATB units to our long-standing customer, the Bouchard family," said Bill Skinner, chief executive officer for VT Halter Marine.

By Professional Mariner Staff