Bollinger Marine Fabricators, Amelia, La. has signed a contract to construct a pair of 250-ft. (76.2 m), double hull, jumbo coastwise service, single rake hopper barges for Tide Leasing of Birmingham, Ala. With construction already having begun on the first barge, the building of the second vessel will begin in August. Both are scheduled for a November 2000 delivery. With a depth of 14 ft. (4.2 m) each, 52.5 ft. (16 m) beam and 11.5 ft. (3.5 m) maximum draft, the vessels will be built with .75-in. steel at the hopper bottoms and 5/8-in. steel at the hopper sides plus .50-in. T-1 liner plates on the bottom and upper sides of the hopper. Operating out of Santa Marta, Columbia, each barge will be able to transport up to 3,000 metric tons of coal. Metairie, La.-based Shearer and Associates designed the new barges for the transportation of coal in limited offshore service. Classed by Lloyd's Register of Shipping, the barges will have a Lloyd's load line.