Repowers on The Ohio

Wednesday, September 01, 1999
James Marine, Inc., a marine service in Paducah, Ky., located at mile 5 on the Tennessee River; operates a diesel rebuilding service, mid-stream, fuel and grocery supplies and a shipyard repair facility. With their location, they get a good look at the trends on America's inland waterways. The recent trend toward greater environmental awareness and expected changes to the Environmental Protection Act to require greater pollution control on the inland waterways has prompted them to review their repower options. The existing fleet has been largely powered by two-cycle marine diesels, and they were interested in gaining fuel savings. This past December, they put their first repower vessel in service. the 50 x 21 ft. Miss Deanna has a pair of Cummins NTA855 engines each producing 400 hp. The next boat to receive new engines will be 85 x 30 ft. India Rose, which will receive a pair of Cummins KTA38 N3 engines each producing 1,000 hp. James Marine's Diesel Division Manager, Randy Crouch, says the first two boats will serve as a test for the company's plans to change the engines in the whole fleet over the next three to four years. Randy explained the calculation of capital costs was a significant factor in the decision. "We took a look at the option of doing an overhaul on the existing engines," said Crouch. "But after we checked the numbers, we found we could sell the older engines and buy new ones. When you add in the lube oil and fuel savings, the cost differences in the two options, to rebuild or repower, were not significant." In the marine working environment which calls for more power, cleaner engines and cost savings, the people at James Marines, Inc. are clearly onto something.
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