Moran Moves Towards DH Fleet

Thursday, August 04, 2005
With the introduction of three new double-hull petroleum barges in 2005, Paul Tregurtha, chairman of Moran Towing Corporation, announced that the company is on track to achieve its goal of operating an all double-hull fleet by the end of 2006.

In the first seven months of 2005, Moran introduced two newly built double-hull petroleum barges, New Hampshire and Georgia, both built at Bay Shipbuilding in Wisconsin, and a newly converted double-hulled barge Massachusetts, delivered from Gulf Marine Repair in Florida.

The three barges, with a combined cargo carrying capacity of 360,000 barrels, were matched with ocean-going tugs from the Moran fleet, all with articulated (ATB) coupler systems that allow the tug to remain permanently in the barge notch when underway. The barges New Hampshire and Georgia, both 427 ft. in length each with a capacity of 110,000 barrels, are matched with the newly-refurbished 5,100 hp tugs Scott Turecamo and Barney Turecamo respectively, while the 415-ft. barge Massachusetts, 140,000 barrels, is paired with the 7,200 hp tug Paul T.Moran.

New Hampshire and Georgia are both working under contract to Conoco-Phillips, delivering refined petroleum products in the Northeast, while the Massachusetts is under contract to Westport Petroleum, delivering fuel oil to marine terminals along the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard.

“We are moving towards our stated goal of being completely double-hull as a matter of policy as soon as possible,” said Moran’s Chairman Tregurtha during the christening ceremony for the Massachusetts in Tampa.

Introduction of the new barges in 2005 marks Moran’s first use of articulated coupler technology. The two new barges, with 78-foot beam and a 26 -foot loaded draft, are connected to their tugs with a pin system developed by Intercontinental Engineering, while the reconfigured Massachusetts has been fitted with the Bludworth coupler system.

The New Hampshire and Georgia are each outfitted with six Markey Machinery mooring line winches around the deck, each storing up to 1,000 feet of braided, eight-strand Force 8 line manufactured by Samson Rope Technologies.

With three deep-well cargo pumps servicing 10 compartments, crews of the new units can discharge their entire 17,000 tons of cargo in less than 12 hours, typically offloading at a rate in excess of 11,000 barrels per hour. The flush-deck, unmanned barges have the latest in closed-tank gauging and high-level monitoring and alarm systems developed by Ian-Conrad Bergen Marine. Cargo tanks are constantly monitored by a radar gauging system, while ballast and fuel tanks are monitored using internal tank pressure systems.

“It’s all integrated so that the tankermen can monitor the level of any tank on the barge from any location out on deck or inside the barge office,” said Dave Beardsley, Moran’s vice president of construction and repair, who played a key role in the barge design. Although the barge contains no housing for crew, there is a large office with space for the unit’s computer system and for constant cargo monitoring, plus records, paperwork, maintenance scheduling and communications. The three identical cargo pumps are powered by Detroit Diesel engines while general electrical needs of the barge are powered by John Deere diesel-generator sets. A Markey electric anchor windlass is on the bow. An eight million BTU Volcanic furnace keeps thermal heating fluid at a constant temperature as it circulates through the cargo tanks.

Moran’s three tugs assigned to these barges are SOLAS and ISM certified with the latest in safety, navigation and communications equipment. All three tugs are equipped with towing winches and complete offshore towing gear, in addition to all equipment involved with their articulated coupler systems.

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