Alabama Shipyard Signs Tug/Barge Contract

Thursday, March 08, 2001
Alabama Shipyard has signed a contract to build an articulated tug and barge (ATB) vessel for Allied Transportation Company of Norfolk, Va.

"This is our third major contract award during the last four months of 2000," noted Alabama Shipyard president Dick Wells.

"We have several pending contracts that will help us create a stable workforce here in Mobile," Wells stated. "In fact, Alabama Shipyard has been working with Mobile's Workforce Development Board to develop a training program for current and new employees that will help us build this permanent work force."

Alabama Shipyard designed the 129,000-bbl, 450-ft. barge in compliance with the OPA 90, which requires vessels to have a double-hull in order to provide greater safeguards to the marine environment. OPA 90 requires most large coastal barges operating in the petroleum and chemical trade to have double hulls by 2005.

The 8,000 hp twin-screw ocean-going tug, designed by Ocean Tug and Barge of Milford, Mass., will have a length of 124 ft. and will feature the patented Intercon tug/barge coupler system designed and built by Intercontinental Engineering and Manufacturing Corporation of Kansas City, Mo. The system consists of two independently mounted gear drive ram assemblies which connect the tug and barge. The tug is able to push a loaded barge at approximately 11 knots, up to 35 percent faster than traditionally towed barges.

Additional benefits of this articulated tug/barge unit include the ability to operate in the widest range of sea states; the complete elimination of tug/barge hull contact; fail-safe mechanical connection with redundant controls, and elimination of the expense and hazards of towing lines and related gear. The tug/barge can be engaged and disengaged without crew on deck. The vessels will be designed and built to ABS classification standards.

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