Crowley Maritime Corporation’s Vessel Management Services subsidiary has awarded construction contracts to Gunderson Marine of for – in addition to two already under construction – eight Heavy Lift Series 400 x 105-ft.-wide deck barges.
Once completed, these barges will handle project work for the offshore energy industry in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere and will expand ’s fleet of this type barge to as many as 13 by 2012. Gunderson is the same company that built the first three barges in the series – the Marty J, 455-2 and 455-3 (now the Julie B) – all of which were delivered last year.
Under construction are barges 455-4 and 455-5, which are scheduled for delivery in the first and second quarters respectively. Four additional barges are contracted for delivery by 2010, and has the opportunity to build four more with Gunderson to be received through 2012.
“With energy companies seemingly going to the ends of the earth to find oil and natural gas, these new barges will help them get even their largest offshore structures there,” said John Douglass, ’s senior vice president and general manager, Atlantic/Gulf region. “ customers have shown great appreciation for the first three barges in this series and we want to continue to deliver for them with a further expansion of this valuable fleet.”
’s new Heavy Lift 455 Series 400-foot by 105-foot-wide barges with 25-foot side shells provide both the capacity and deck strength needed to accommodate the favored larger units for offshore exploration and development. The barges offer increased stability for loads up to 4,200 pounds per square foot in order to carry the larger offshore structures now being planned and engineered for deepwater projects. The barges are also suitable for use in other regions, including , where has regularly performed summer sealifts to the .
’s new barges will be classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and receive certification from the United States Coast Guard.