DH Barge Construction Keeps Yards Humming

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

By Larry Pearson

Shipyards in most major shipbuilding centers around the country are busy with double-hulled barge projects. The required phase out by OPA-90 regulations of single hulled barges over 25 years old by 2005 is the reason why there is considerable activity in this sector.

Many petroleum transportation companies are building new barges and some barges with useful life remaining are being double hulled…so there is a good mix of new construction and renovation. This elevated level of building activity has led one strictly repair yard to take on new barge construction activity.

For example the Manitowoc Marine Group's repair yard in Toledo, Ohio has its first new build in 15 years. They have under construction a 110,000 barrel barge for Hornbeck Offshore Transportation LLC, Mandeville, La. for November 2004 delivery.

This new contract has also led to a $7.5 million facility upgrade by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. Hornbeck also has options for three additional barges within the next year. One of these options has been exercised; another 110,000-barrel barge will be built by another Manitowoc Marine Group company, Bay Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. LEEVAC Industries LLC, Jennings, La. is also building OPA-90 compliant barges for Hornbeck. Earlier this year they signed a contract to build a second 135,000-barrel barge for Hornbeck. The latest vessel will be delivered by the end of the year 2005. The first of the two barges will be delivered later this year.

President and CEO Todd Hornbeck said "All four double hull tank barges are expected to go under long term contract shortly after being delivered by the shipyards." Hornbeck said he is also evaluating the fixed price options for the construction of two additional double-hulled tank barges.

Senesco Marine, Quonset Point, R. I. has become quite active in barge construction. Their latest contract is for a 100,000-barrel double-hulled barge for Reinauer Transportation, a leading transporter of liquid fuels on the East Coast. Senesco has also delivered a pair of 80,000 barrel OPA-90 compliant barges in the past year and is working on two more for 2004 delivery.

The Reinauer barge will be 403 feet long and 74 feet wide with side depths of 26.5 feet. The barges will be fitted to accommodate the Intercon-C coupler and will have a pair of heavy-duty hydraulic mooring winches, two cargo hose cranes, two electric capstans and an anchor windless.

A pair of 5,000 gallon/minute cargo pumps will be powered by two Detroit Diesel Series 60 diesel engines. Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La. has been very busy with retrofits of existing barges and tugs that form ATB units as well as the construction of new ATB units, all for Bouchard Coastwise Management Company. This activity is detailed in a story on ATB construction also in this issue. For more information on the companies in this report, circle the appropriate number on the reader service card in this edition.

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