U.S. Barge LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vigor Industrial LLC, this week will deliver a combination Deck and Tank Barge to NorthStar Gas LLC, an Alaskan Petroleum Distributor. The CAUNEQ was christened on April 15, 2011 and will start making deliveries in May to the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Western Alaska Costal Regions.
NorthStar Gas and its operating partner, Delta Western
, will use this barge to service customers in Western Alaska, stabilizing the transportation costs of fuel in the region. Barge CAUNEQ is capable of carrying up to 200,000 gallons of fuel plus deck freight in waters tributary to the Bearing Sea, Chukchi Sea and Arctic Ocean
. "This is great news for Western Alaska," said Elaine Brown, NorthStar Gas President and CEO. "Many of our customers are also owners of NorthStar Gas, so this important step of fuel barge-ownership is very meaningful."
The barge has been certified by the United States Coast Guard for carriage of Grade B and lower petroleum products and complies with OPA 90 requirements. The main deck is over 3000 square feet and can accommodate a minimum of 7 standard '20' x 8'' ISO containers.
Barge CAUNEQ measures 162' x 44' 6", with a depth of only 6'. The non-self-propelled, single-hulled, combination deck and tank barge is intended for inland service. The shallow-draft design allows the barge to navigate and in waters as shallow as 3 feet. It will perform as its name implies, CAUNEQ, a Yupik word, meaning 'A place or thing to turn to'. The distinctive shallow water operation will allow reliable delivery, even in low and shallow rivers.
The engineering and design was performed by Elliott Bay Design Group, of Seattle, WA. "The CANUEQ is an outstanding example of how an owner, operator, naval architect and builder can work together to design and deliver a vessel of exceptional quality in less than 6 months," says EBDG Project Manager, Mike Complita, PE. "Elliott Bay Design Group is proud to have provided design and construction support services to NorthStar Gas, Delta Western and U.S. Barge from concept through completion. The CANUEQ is without question one of the most unique and versatile vessels in service anywhere in the world today, and we wish her a long and successful career serving the communities of Western Alaska."
All fabrication and outfitting was completed in-house by U.S. Barge, in Portland, OR. "This was a tremendous opportunity to build a barge for a pioneer company like NorthStar Gas LLC. This was a great experience in working with a customer that was very pleasant to deal with and very forward thinking in their outlook," said Johnny Meyer, U.S. Barge Director of Operations. Specializing in fully outfitted turn-key marine vessels, U.S. Barge's 800' buildway, 600 ton gantry crane, and 150,000 sq. ft. of covered building space makes it ideal for construction of very large vessels and other fabrications.