Hovertrans Inc. launched the world's largest hover barge (air-cushion barge) in the first quarter of 2006. Air-cushion technology allows oil exploration and production operators the advantage of accessing environmentally sensitive wetlands without causing any damage to the terrain. The challenge was to provide a stable oil well drilling
and equipment platform in the environmentally sensitive swamp areas of Northern Suriname. The design enabled the hover barge to be assembled on a remote site at the edge of the swamp. The hover barge is 170 x 90 ft., weighs 900 gross tons with a 330 ton payload. The hover height is 4 ft. and when on hover, only exerts 1psi ground pressure. It features a 40 x 10 ft. keyway slot which allows the hover barge to move away from the well head once drilling is completed.