Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Inc signed a contract with Maritrans Inc.
to build three new articulated tug-barge units, each having a carrying capacity of 335,000 barrels. Each barge will be connected to a 12,000 hp tugboat using the Intercon connection system.
Construction of the three new vessels will take place in Mobile, Alabama and at its affiliated company, the Tampa Bay Shipbuilding & Repair Company
. Maritrans estimates that the total cost of construction (including owner furnished equipment) will be approximately $77.5 million for each tug-barge unit. Bender Shipbuilding expects to deliver the first unit in October of 2007, with the remaining two vessels expected to be delivered seven months apart in May and December of 2008, respectively. The units are designed by Ocean Tug and Barge Engineering, Inc. lead by Bob Hill.