Bouchard Transportation Co. celebrated the naming of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and the B. No. 272 at the christening ceremony held on Thursday, February 18 in New Orleans.
The ceremony began with remarks from Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. President/CEO, Morton S. Bouchard III, followed by VT Halter Marine and ExxonMobil/SeaRiver Maritime. Vessel sponsor Joan Lesniewski, wife of Robert Lesniewski of ExxonMobil/SeaRiver Maritime, performed the ceremonious breaking of the champagne bottles as executives from Bouchard, VT Halter Marine and several of Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. customers, business partners and regulatory agencies celebrated alongside.
The barge, B. No. 272, was launched at VT Halter’s Pascagoula Operations in Pascagoula, Miss., on November 20, 2015. The tug, Donna J. Bouchard, was launched at VT Halter’s Moss Point Marine facility in Escatawpa, Miss., on September 15, 2015, and is named after the sister of Morton S. Bouchard III. Constructed independently of each other, and now paired, the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272 are now classified alongside the Kim. M Bouchard and B. No. 270 as the largest vessels to date in Bouchard's ongoing fleet expansion program. These are the second of two Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) units constructed by VT Halter Marine, Inc., a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc.
The B. No. 272 measures 628 feet by 91 feet by 47 feet, has a 255,000-barrel capacity, and is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service. The Donna J. Bouchard is a 10,000hp twin screw ATB tug and is classed by ABS as +A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter M, and is equipped with an Intercon Coupler System. Paired with Barge B. No. 272, the unit will be used to transport petroleum products for Bouchard Transportation.
“Celebrating the christening of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B No. 272 signifies another major milestone in developing a modern, fuel-efficient, well-specified, reliable, and most importantly, safe fleet, capable of supporting the exacting requirements of the offshore industry around the world,” said Morton S. Bouchard III. “Our expansion continues to be driven by our founding fathers and four generations of Bouchard’s philosophy of investing our profits in new, modern equipment to service our customers in the most efficient, and environmentally safe manner possible – a high quality service that customers have come to expect from Bouchard Transportation for close to 100 years. I would also like to thank our close friends at VT Halter for their delivery of another well-built tug and barge unit, and wish the crew of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272 safe and smooth sailing for years to come.”
Jack Prendergast, President and CEO, VT Halter Marine, said, “We join Bouchard Transportation in the celebration of the christening of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and Barge B. No. 272. Bouchard Transportation has a long tradition of unmatched excellence, and the men and women of VT Halter Marine are extraordinarily proud that this superb tug and barge unit is joining the Bouchard Fleet. We wish the crew of the M/V Donna J. Bouchard and Barge B. No. 272 nothing but ‘fair winds and following seas’ as they take this highly sophisticated, technically advanced ATB unit to sea. VT Halter Marine also looks forward to the delivery of the M/V Frederick E. Bouchard in June 2016.”