Maritrans Operating Partners L.P., a subsidiary of Maritrans Inc.
, has obtained a patent on its proprietary process for rebuilding single hull tank vessels with internal double hulls.
Together with M. Daniel Jones of the Houston-based naval architecture firm Schuller
& Allan, Maritrans developed an innovative double-hull manufacturing process to rebuild single-hulled tank vessels with the double hulls required by the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990. The unique process utilizes computer-assisted design for fabricating modular internal hull sections.
In 1998, Maritrans used the process to complete the rebuilding of the 10,549 gross-ton tank barge Maritrans 192 (formerly Ocean 192), which marked the first large single hull tank vessel to be rebuilt with a double hull to meet OPA's mandate. In 2000, Maritrans completed the rebuilding of the 16,021 gt tank barge Maritrans 244 (formerly Ocean 244). Both vessels, now in full compliance with OPA's requirements, are currently in service transporting petroleum products in the Gulf of Mexico.
Maritrans' patent now grants Maritrans the right to exclude others from practicing its protected process.
Stephen A. Van Dyck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, "Maritrans' reputation as an industry leader is confirmed by our substantial financial investment into the initial rebuild process design and in the MARITRANS 192 pilot project. By obtaining patent protection for our internal rebuilding process, we believe we will be able to protect the competitive advantage we have gained through our hard work and innovation. Our second vessel rebuild is now complete, and we will continue our efforts to rebuild our fleet to meet OPA's mandate. Module fabrication is already underway for the barge Ocean Cities, which is due to enter the shipyard this spring."