McAsphalt Industries, Upper Lakes Group Join Forces

Thursday, March 08, 2001
McAsphalt Industries Ltd. and Upper Lakes Group Inc. have recently announced a joint venture for the formation of McAsphalt Marine Transportation Limited. The company will construct and operate a new ATB unit for the carriage of heavy oils and asphalt products serving the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and East Coast.

A synergy between the two parent companies combine the long experience of an asphalt producer, supplier and marketing team, with a respected marine transportation and ship management group.

A new barge called the Norman McLeod is currently under construction at the Jinling Shipyard in China with expected delivery to Canada in late June 2001. Fraser Marine and Industrial of Port Colborne will perform completion of outfitting, with operational status ready for fall 200. The two-phase construction offered the owners both economic advantages with steel construction and coatings and Canadian expertise in equipment and fit out quality. An extensive quotation process under the project manager guidance of Upper Lakes Group Inc. Stephen Wright is overseeing the construction project.

The ice strengthened OPA double-hulled barge is capable of carrying 11,300 cu. m. of asphalt or other black oils at 23-ft. draft. State of the art heating system, bowthruster, onboard pollution prevention equipment, and overall design will make it safe and efficient liquid product carrier to service the internal needs for McAsphalt Industries and other third party business.

The modern barge will be fitted to the Tug Everest, a specially designed 6,000 hp twin tug screw fitted with an Articouple system of hydraulic rams allowing ship like navigation efficiency and performance in both speed, maneuverability and safety even in rough weather conditions. The tug and barge are also fitted with full towing capabilities. The tug's IFO capabilities ensures fuel efficiency, and the latest navigational technology and skilled crews combined with an ISM/ISO 9002 certification will contribute to a safe and environmentally friendly operation.

The overall unit length is just over 500 ft. with a 70 ft. beam, combined with draft and maneuvering capabilities, provides flexibility with maximum cargo capabilities to all customers and ports being serviced.

The company will provide all marketing and traffic services while Upper Lakes Group Inc. will manage the operations.

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