Tug Avik Joins Crowley’s Alaska Fleet

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Crowley's petroleum services group has taken delivery of its newest tug, Avik, to serve in the company's oil transportation and distribution fleet. The 76-ft. tug was designed by Crowley's Vessel Management Services team and built by Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, Wash. It was delivered on June 3 and has been put into service in Alaska.

The purpose-built tug was designed for both shallow water and ocean towing operations. It features a raised bridge for improved visibility, an electric tow winch for coastal towing and fendered push knees for river or beaching operations. The Avik is powered by three Caterpillar 3406E diesel engines generating 1,350 hp. It will handle barges transporting fuel and general cargo to communities in Alaska where shallow water and lack of docking facilities is common. In those cases, tugs and barges make a beach landing to load and unload cargo. "The Avik will provide improved versatility and service reliability for Crowley's Alaska operations," said Bruce Barto, vice president & general manager, petroleum services. "This boat is designed to operate in moderate open-water weather conditions, and is equally suitable for river and near shore operations."

It also incorporates environmentally friendly features such as engines that meet IMO emissions requirements, on board holding tanks to retain treated sewage, electric deck machinery instead of hydraulic and fuel tanks surrounded by void spaces to minimize the chance of fuel spills.

Crowley's petroleum services group is also adding another vessel to its fleet. Barge 180-1, also being built by Dakota Creek, is scheduled for delivery in July. This 180-foot combination tank and deck cargo barge will be the first double-hull tank barge constructed specifically for Alaska service. It features a dual anchor system, coated cargo tanks, a pedestal-mounted deck crane, portable cargo ramps and onboard oil spill response equipment. The 180-1 will operate in either a push mode or as a conventional towed unit. "We are excited about these new vessels and about providing improved service levels to our customers", said Barto. "They are very visible reminders of Crowley's long-standing commitment to Alaska". Vessel Management Services, part of Crowley's corporate services segment, designs, engineers, constructs and maintains ownership of new vessels for charter. Its mission is to provide technologically advanced equipment to serve the needs of the industry in general and Crowley in particular. Over the years, it has built some of the most advanced tugs and articulated tug barges (ATBs) in the world, which are now deployed by Crowley along the West Coast from California to Alaska.

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