VT Halter Wins $254m Contract

Thursday, September 27, 2007
VT Halter Marine won a contract to build three 330,000-barrel tank barges for Crowley Maritime Corporation's subsidiary, Vessel Management Services Inc. The vessels, which include the cost of owner-furnished equipment, are valued at approximately $254m. They are the largest in Crowley Maritime's history and the fastest in their class. VT Halter Marine is the US operations of ST Engineering's marine arm, Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine). VT Halter Marine currently has three contracts with Vessel Management Services Inc. to build the tugs and 185,000-barrel barges for 10 Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) units, at the total value of approximately $515m. This latest contract will bring the total contractual value with Vessel Management Services to $769m. The 330,000-barrel tank barges for today's contract are similar to the 185,000-barrel barges being built at VT Halter Marine, but they will have about 78 percent more cargo handling capacity. When completed, they will be operated in the US coastwise trade by Crowley Maritime's petroleum services segment. Recent facility improvements, including the extension of the launch system, have enabled the US shipyard to accommodate vessels up to Panamax in size, thereby meeting the rising demand for vessels with higher cargo capacity and deep water capability. The 330,000-barrel tank barge project will follow after VT Halter Marine delivers the 10 ATB units previously contracted. Engineering for the project is scheduled to start in 1H2008. Construction of the first tank barge will begin in 1H2009, with proposed deliveries beginning in 2H2011 and ending in 2H2013. The tank barges will measure about 600 feet long and 105.5 feet wide, with a depth of about 54 feet. Cargo capacity is 330,000-barrels, with deadweight of 45,000 tonnes. Besides the capability to transport refined products, the barges can also carry heated cargoes. The barges will feature the latest systems technology and double hull construction for maximum safety and reliability.

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