Greenbrier Launches Crowley's New Alaska Fuel Barge
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. announced today the launch of Qamun, a 55,000-barrel shallow draft double hull petroleum tank barge built by Greenbrier Marine, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenbrier. Crowley Engineering Services provided on-site construction management using an Alaska-specific design by Jensen Maritime, its recently integrated naval architecture and marine engineering firm.
The 350-foot barge, which will form part of an articulated tug-barge (ATB) unit, will be paired with the tug Aurora being constructed by Master Boat Builders Inc., Coden, Ala. Delivery to Crowley is expected in April 2021. It is designed specifically for the Alaska fuels market.
The barge was sponsored by Natalie Meidel, wife of Rick Meidel, Vice President and General Manager of Crowley Fuels, who carried out the traditional ceremony breaking a champagne bottle against the hull at the launch. A small group of representatives from Crowley and Greenbrier came together for a small, private launch on Saturday, March 6, at Greenbrier's facility in Portland, Ore. All attendees performed the short christening ceremony socially distanced on the barge deck and rode the barge into the water together. This was the first time a launch had been observed at Greenbrier Marine in this way.
In addition to the Meidels, Crowley attendees included Matt Yacavone, SVP and General Manager of Crowley Shipping; Ray Martus, VP, Crowley Engineering Services; Bryan Nichols, Director, Business Development, Crowley Shipping; Rick McKenna, Project Manager, Crowley Construction Management; and Jon Marshall, a vessel paint inspection contractor representing Crowley. Greenbrier attendees included Mark Eitzen, Senior Vice President, Greenbrier Marine Sales, Marketing, & Business Development; Richard Hunt, Vice President and Acting General Manager, Greenbrier Gunderson; Walt Stokman, Production Manager; and Jeff Gregg, Production Manager.
Qamun's construction continues a Crowley-Greenbrier relationship that has produced 10 previous, heavy deck-strength barges since 2007 to support offshore energy and other industries.
"It has been a pleasure to work with Crowley on this important project. Our shared goal to supply the U.S. with dependable, high-quality marine products and services was demonstrated in our work together on this Jones Act-compliant barge," said William A. Furman, Greenbrier Chairman and CEO. "The socially-distanced barge launch was a resounding success, and I am pleased we were able to capture footage of the event for those unable to attend."
The ATB was specifically designed to meet Ice Class and Polar Code requirements to safely and effectively operate in Western Alaska year-round while providing protections for the environment using energy efficient, lower emission propulsion. The vessel can operate in winter ice conditions and temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, and its shallow draft will meet the needs of Western Alaska, which depends on maneuverable and functional vessels for reliable supplying. Greenbrier Marine barges are compliant with the Jones Act, a law requiring any vessel that ships goods between U.S. ports to be manufactured in the United States, and American operated.
"We congratulate the men and women at Greenbrier and our company for reaching this milestone toward this innovative barge," said Rick Meidel. "The Qamun, paired with Aurora, will bring a new generation of cost-efficient, sustainable service for Alaskan communities and business customers. Teams at Crowley and Greenbrier have worked hard together to ensure this vessel design and its construction delivers exceptional service to ensure, high quality, life-sustaining fuel supply continues to reach across the most remote parts of the state on-time."