dedicated a new articulated tug-barge (ATB) on June 5 as the latest addition to its Great Lakes fleet
. The Samuel de Champlain tug and Innovation barge were built and are owned by American Transport Leasing Inc.
, a subsidiary of Lafarge. The new vessel will transport cement and cementitious materials among 17 Lafarge facilities throughout the Great Lakes, including its terminal on the Cleveland waterfront.
The articulated design represents a significant advance over conventional tugs and barges. The tug fits into a notch at the stern of the barge, where hydraulic connections allow them to dip and rise independently. The design makes the vessel more maneuverable than conventional tug-barge combinations, especially in adverse weather conditions.
The new combination of the Samuel de Champlain and Innovation forms Lafarge’s second articulated tug-barge. The first, the G.L. Ostrander tug and Integrity barge, went into service in 1996. Other recent improvements in the region’s distribution network include a new state-of-the-art cement terminal in Detroit, an upgrade to its production facilities at its plant in Alpena, MI and added storage capacity at Columbus, OH.