Pictured is Bouchard’s B. No. 295 and Bouchard Girls, converted and retrofitted by Bollinger Gulf Repair and Bollinger Algiers, as an OPA’90 compliant ATB unit.
Bollinger Gulf Repair, L.L.C. and Bollinger Algiers, L.L.C, two Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., shipyards, have completed the retrofit and conversion of a Bouchard Coastwise Management Co.
, barge and tug, respectfully, to an articulated tug and barge (ATB) unit utilizing the Intercon Coupler System.
At Bollinger Gulf Repair, the 446-foot, black oil Barge B. No.195 which has been renamed Barge B. No.295, was transformed from a single hull to double hull vessel to meet the requirements of OPA'90. The B. No. 295 measures 468-foot x 85.5-foot x 38.1-foot, with sixteen (16) cargo tanks. A new ballast system was installed, and her stern was modified with the matching Intercon ladder to accept the bow of the 127-foot tug BOUCHARD GIRLS, which was retrofitted with ram assemblies of the Intercon system at the Bollinger Algiers facility.
At the Bollinger Algiers facility, the tug BOUCHARD GIRLS underwent her conversions, receiving a keel cooled Detroit Diesel 8V-71 generator set producing 99 kW as back up for powering the Intercon hydraulic system and main generator. The vessel completed renewal of all regulatory requirements, installation of the Intercon system and received life extensions, as did the barge at Bollinger Gulf Repair.
Morton S. Bouchard III, president and chief executive officer of Bouchard Transportation Company Inc., said, "We are pleased to announce that we have taken delivery of our fifth retrofit unit, the BOUCHARD GIRLS and the B. No. 295 from Bollinger. This redelivery of a modern, compliant, OPA’90 barge into our fleet represents another step forward in our company’s commitment to the petroleum industry."
Before the tug and barge arrived at the Bollinger yards, the shipyard pre-fabricated, sandblasted and painted certain components that were used in the conversion of both vessels. The barge was converted and inspected to the applicable rules of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for Class Maltese A-1 Oil Tank Barge and the U.S. Coast Guard for the carriage of petroleum products of Grade A and lower, for Manned Services in Oceans.
Ben Bordelon, executive vice president repair, of Bollinger said, "This double hulling of the Bouchard B. No 295 and the re-fit of the tug BOUCHARD GIRLS using two separate Bollinger facilities exemplifies Bollinger’s unique ability to work with the needs of our customers to complete the job. By using the strengths at our various facilities, we are able to mix and match facility and personnel strengths to accomplish large projects, such as conversions, retrofits and re-builds”.
The end result of this project is a compliant safe operating tug/barge unit coupled together with the Intercon connection. In simplest form, the patented Intercon system provides a single degree of freedom allowing the tug to pitch about a transverse connection between the tug and barge. All other motions are restrained so that the tug motions match barge motions in roll and heave. The connection is mechanical, accomplished with two independently mounted ram assemblies, gear driven, and configured for tug installation. The rams stroke transversely, engaging the vertical ladder structures incorporated onto both sidewalls of the stern notch of the barge. The resulting connection is rigid, mechanically locked, and fail-safe.
Bollinger has additional OPA’90 new builds in various production stages for Bouchard. The B. No. 282, an 80,000 BBL clean oil barge and the B. No. 260, a 60,000 BBL black oil barge are being built at Bollinger Gretna. B. No. 233, a 35,000 BBL clean oil barge is being built by Bollinger Marine Fabricators in Amelia, Louisiana.