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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Aep River Operations News

AEP to Sell AEP River Ops To ACL

An AEP river tow (File image)

American Electric Power (AEP) has signed an agreement to sell its commercial barge transportation subsidiary, AEP River Operations LLC, to American Commercial Lines (ACL), owned by Platinum Equity, for approximately $550 million. AEP River Operations is a commercial inland barge company delivering about 45 million tons of products annually, including 10 million tons of coal. AEP River Operations has 56 towboats, 2,301 barges and 1,090 employees. The company is headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, with operations in Paducah, Kentucky, and Convent, Algiers and Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Darling Named President of AEP River Operations

American Electric Power has named Keith Darling president of AEP River Operations LLC. Darling, 60, will oversee all managerial and operating activities related to AEP River Operations, including sales, planning and budgeting, accounting, business development, logistics, operations and maintenance. He replaces Mark Knoy, who left the company. "Keith's river operations experience is both broad and deep, and he has a unique understanding of how our river operations fit with our broader corporate strategy," said Tim Light, senior vice president – Fuels, Emissions & Logistics. Darling has served as managing director of boat operations for AEP River Operations since 2002.

MN 100: AEP River Operations

President: Keith Darling

AEP River Operations offers the largest covered hopper fleet of any carrier. Complementing its barge operations is a fleet of over 80 boats ranging in power from  1,550 to 11,000 hp. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, AEP River Operations is a barge company offering service in the transportation of dry bulk commodities – grain, project cargo, coal, steel, ores and other bulk products – throughout the inland river system. AEP River Operations offers the largest covered hopper fleet of any carrier.

ACL Acquires AEP River Operations

Mark Knoy (Photo: American Commercial Lines)

Marine transportation service company American Commercial Lines (ACL) announced it has acquired commercial inland barge company AEP River Operations from American Electric Power (AEP). AEP River Operations is based in Chesterfield, Mo., with operations in Paducah, Ky.; and Convent, Algiers and Belle Chasse, La., and delivers approximately 45 million tons of products annually. Mark Knoy, president and CEO of Jeffersonville, Ind. based ACL, had previously run AEP River Operations for a decade before joining ACL in 2011.

MN 100: AEP River Operations

St. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, AEP River Operations is a barge company offering service in the transportation of dry bulk commodities – grain, project cargo, coal, steel, ores and other bulk products – throughout the inland river system. AEP River Operations offers the largest covered hopper fleet of any carrier. Complementing its barge operations is a fleet of over 80 boats ranging in horsepower from 1,550 hp fleet boats to lower river big tow 11,000 hp boats. In 2012, AEP moved over 73 million tons of cargo for its many customers.

New Tank Barge Arrives & AEP Begins River Transport

Barges in the Gulf: Photo courtesy of AEP River Operations

AEP River Operations say they have began operations of its new Liquids Division today with receipt of the first of 20 tank barges. The addition of tank barges to the company's fleet will allow them to transport liquid commodities, including petrochemicals and agricultural chemicals. The company informs that its liquid barge fleet is being constructed by Jeffboat, based in Jeffersonville, Ind. Each barge will have a capacity of 11,000 barrels and measure 200 feet long and 35 feet wide, with external frames, 6-pound press tank tops, vapor recovery and Tier III John Deere engines.

AEP Barges into the Liquid Transport Markets

Answering the needs of longstanding clients, bulk transport giant AEP dips its toes into the liquid transport arena. AEP River Operations needs no introduction for most MarineNews readers. One of the true river giants operating on America’s domestic inland waters today, AEP is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and is primarily known as a barge company that provides transportation of dry bulk commodities throughout the inland river system. AEP River Operations is owned by American Electric Power…

SCI Welcomes Upgrades and COE Designation

Some important announcements were made during the 9th Annual River Bell Awards Luncheon at the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) Center in Paducah, KY. Leaders from Ingram Barge Company and AEP River Operations revealed that their companies would lead the effort to fund important upgrades to the simulators in Paducah. Upgrades to the Center’s simulation Center come on the heels of significant funding from West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board in August of this year. All computer hardware, software and radars will be replaced and the geographical databases will be updated.

MARAD Awards Grant for Green Tug Conversion

M/V Christopher M. Parsonage (Photo: Capt. Billy Smith)

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has granted $450,000 to AEP River Operations of St. Louis, Missouri, to modify the Motor Vessel (M/V) Christopher Parsonage into a fuel-efficient hybrid vessel that conserves fuel and reduces emissions. The modification will provide the 180-foot tug boat, which operates along the lower Mississippi River, with a hybrid generator set attached to the main engine that will provide auxiliary power, which would normally be produced from the diesel generator.

American Commercial Lines Announces New Leadership

American Commercial Lines Inc. (ACL), one of the largest and most diversified inland marine transportation and service companies in the United States, announced today the appointments of Mark Knoy as President and Chief Executive Officer and David Huls as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Industry veteran Mark Knoy, 52, is joining ACL following a seventeen year career at AEP River Operations, LLC, a subsidiary of American Electric Power Co., Inc., where he spent the last ten years serving as President. Under Mr. Knoy's leadership AEP River Operations grew to become one of the nation's largest and most successful barge lines. "Mark brings to ACL many years of profitable growth on the inland waterways," said Bryan Kelln, President of Portfolio Operations at Platinum Equity.

USCG Presents William M. Benkert Awards

Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Vice Adm. Peter Neffenger presented the 2014 Rear Adm. William Benkert Awards at the American Petroleum Institute's (API) annual tanker conference Thursday. The award is given to support and recognize maritime industry efforts for their environmental protection programs. This biennial award was started in 1995 and honors industry leaders in the field of marine safety and environmental protection and provides an opportunity for the Coast Guard to recognize leadership, innovation and creativity found among those members of the maritime industry. It is the premier environmental protection award presented by the U.S.

Bulk Transport Leadership: Terence Gomez

Terence Gomez has been a Senior Manager at AEP River Operations in Missouri since 1986.

Drought and ensuing low river levels continue to affect the inland industry. Low water between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois has threatened traffic on the Mississippi River since December. For months, dredging operations have slowed vessels at points along the river's course. Since December, a stretch at Thebes, Illinois, has been shut for much of each day as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes rock pinnacles. A panel of five executives weighed in on a host of topics regarding inland transportation as part of a round table discussion published in the February print edition of Marine News.

ACL Names SVP and COO

Paul A. Tobin, ACL Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

American Commercial Lines Inc. (ACL), one of the largest and most diversified inland marine transportation and service companies in the United States, announced today the appointment of Paul A. Tobin as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. An industry veteran, Mr. Tobin's most recent role was Senior Vice President Administration for AEP River Operations. He joined AEP in 2001 with the company's purchase of Memco Barge Line, where he served as Vice President Administration and Director Insurance during his four-year tenure.

Editor's Note

Even if, as Marcon International’s Bob Beagle says, barges are the workhorses of the towing industry, then the pushboats that propel the 38,000 (documented and undocumented) deck, hopper, tank, crane and miscellaneous purpose barges to their destinations are the heart and soul of the most efficient – and greenest – means to move cargo known to man. This month, we take a close look at what’s developing for both types of hulls; in terms of design, markets, boatbuilding and everything else in between. There’s something happening on all fronts.

Traffic Restrictions Lifted on Mississippi River

File photo: Thomas Rollins

The safety zone and traffic restrictions in place from markers 936 to 938 on the Mississippi River following a towboat collision and subsequent oil spill have been lifted, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. A section of the lower Mississippi River was closed to all traffic except response vessels last week after two towboats collided Wednesday at Mississippi River mile marker 937, rupturing the cargo tank of a barge carrying slurry oil which discharged approximately 150,000 gallons of oil into the river.

ACL Selected to Serve on the IWUB

Mark Knoy, ACL President and CEO (Photo: ACL)

American Commercial Lines (ACL) has been selected to serve as a representative on the Inland Waterways Users Board (IWUB), an advisory board established to monitor the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (Fund) and make recommendations to the Army Corps of Engineers and to Congress on investment priorities using resources from the Fund. Comprised of representatives of the barge transportation industry and the customers it serves, the IWUB provides input to help identify and prioritize investment in inland navigation infrastructure.

Coast Guard Recognizes Industry's Environmental Excellence

The U.S. Coast Guard announced the award recipients for the 2012 Biennial Rear Admiral William M. Benkert, Marine Environmental Protection Award for Excellence at the American Petroleum Institute Tanker Conference in Orlando, Fla. The winner of the Osprey award went to APL Co. Pte. Ltd. based out of Singapore in the large vessel category. The winners for the Gold award went to AEP River Operations based out of St. Louis and Holland America based out of Seattle in the foreign vessel category. Ingram Marine Group based out of Nashville, Tenn., Matson Navigation based out of Oakland, Calif., and Marathon Petroleum Co. based out of Tampa, Fla., were winners in the large vessel category. Winners for the Silver award in the large vessel category went to Maersk Line Ltd. based out of Baltimore.

Big Response to WKCTC’s Open House

Open house at the Inland Logistics and Marine Institute in Paducah, Ky

More than 100 city officials, educators, community members, and representatives from the river industry attended West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s open house and ribbon cutting for its Inland Logistics and Marine Institute (ILMI) August 10. Visitors toured the recently renovated 8,000 square-foot facility located at 631 Marine Way between local river businesses and Paducah's downtown. The building includes classrooms, a state-of-the-art radar lab, diesel lab, video lab and five offices.

Winch Safety through Standardization

For decades, barge owners and operators had no reason to think twice about their rigging. There were only a few choices when it came to winches, and there were ratchets as well. Because of the simplicity of these machines, few people in the industry were compelled to think critically about how such a basic item might be improved. But winches and ratchets have their downsides: fouling and birdnesting can and do happen. Wire rope is heavy, and traditional rigging takes a lot of it. And old-fashioned winches require a good amount of time and effort to operate. But what else was there?

Waterways Council Names Officers & Directors

Richard R. (Rick) Calhoun, Cargo Carriers, Chairman; Cornel Martin, President & CEO; Merritt Lane, Canal Barge Line, Vice Chairman; Rodney Weinzierl, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Vice Chairman;  Matt Woodruff, Kirby Corporation, Counsel; Peter Stephaich, Campbell Transportation Company, Secretary; Cherrie Felder, Channel Shipyard Company, Treasurer. Dan Mecklenborg, Ingram Barge Line Co., was named Immediate Past Chairman, and Berdon Lawrence, Kirby Corporation and Mark Knoy, AEP River Operations, were named Honorary Past Chairmen. Named to At Large positions were Michael Hennessey, CONSOL Energy Co.; Tim Parker, Jr., Parker Towing Company; Stephen Little, Crounse Corporation; and Dale Roth, Carpenter’s District Council of Greater St. Louis and Vicinity.

WCI Names New Officers and Directors

WCI Chairman Matt Woodruff (Director, Government Affairs, Kirby Corporation)

Waterways Council, Inc. At its Annual Meeting on October 19 in Pittsburgh, the Board of Directors of Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) elected the following new officers for 2011-2013: Chairman, Matt Woodruff, (Director, Government Affairs, Kirby Corporation); Vice Chairman, Steve Little, (President, Crounse Corporation); General Counsel, Dan Mecklenborg, (Senior Vice President, HR & Chief Legal Officer, Ingram Barge Company); Immediate Past Chairman, Rick Calhoun, (President, Cargo Carriers). All other officers were re-elected to their current positions.

Insights from Mark Knoy, AEP River Operations

Photo courtesy AEP River Operations

MarineNews spoke with Mark Knoy, President of AEP River Operations, about his background in the industry, challenges and opportunities in the inland waterways and how technology is impacting operations. How did you come to be involved in the industry? I grew up in the river business with my father and brother. My dad was a river boat Captain and I started as a deckhand, engineer and then pilot. My father and I started a fleeting business on the Illinois River and things took off from there. I came to work at AEP in 1994. What are the obstacles and opportunities in the market right now?

SCI’s New Chapter in Maritime Training

Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) launched an initiative on December 10, 2014 aiming to transform training for America’s inland mariners at its Center for Maritime Education in Paducah, KY. The day before its 15th Annual River Bell Awards ceremony, the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) pushed the proverbial boat out on a new era of maritime education. In prior months, SCI had installed new simulators and renovated the hospitality areas at its Center for Maritime Education in Paducah, KY. The official dedication of the refurbished Center on December 10 revealed SCI’s blueprint for preparing a new generation of mariners for safe operations on American waterways.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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