These new vessels will begin operating in the Gulf of Mexico

T2011.7.27-vessel.jpghe Maritime Administration​ has approved a $346,129,000 Title XI guarantee to Vessel Management Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crowley Holdings, Inc., for the construction of three 330,000 barrel double hull tug/barge units. VT Halter Marine, Inc. in Gulfport, Mississippi is constructing the barges and Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Washington has been retained to build the tugs.

The Title XI Loan Guarantee program provides funding to promote the growth and modernization of U.S. shipyards and the U.S. merchant marine.

VT Halter Marine has a separate contract with Vessel Management Services to design and build three 330,000-barrel, 750 series ATB barges.

These new vessels, which will begin operating in the Gulf of Mexico starting in late 2011, will redefine the ATM industry. Designed to carry 330,000 barrels of refined product, with a double wall hull construction in compliance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, they provide a combination of carrying capacity, seaworthiness and speed unmatched by any class of ATB.

-Twin Screw 16, 320 hp tug with Intercon notch connection

-Redundant engine rooms in accordance with ABS requirements

-Redundant steering system with oversize rudders for maximum handling capabilities

-Approximate sea speed 15 knots

-Meets full SOLAS criteria for enhanced crew safety

-Fixed cleaning system to easily handle cargo changes

-Remote radar gauging in all cargo and ballast tanks

-Unit is designed to carry petroleum products, heated cargoes and EZ chemicals to provide maximum cargo flexibility

-Barge built under ABS Safe Hull program for maximum environmental protection, which puts the vessel design through extensive review to identify and strengthen the vessel structure

-Dual mode inert gas vapor collection system for maximum safety, with a layer of inert gas covering the product in the tank to make the tank atmosphere too lean for combustion

-Enhanced mooring system features over 1,000ft Spectra-type lines on split drums, with a high speed recovery rate of 100ft/min

Source: MARAD