Vessel Management Services, Inc., a Crowley Maritime Corporation subsidiary, on April 25 christened the first of four Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) tank vessels that the company will take delivery of this year. The vessels christened were the 9,280-hp tug Sea Reliance and 155,000-barrel barge 550-1.
At ceremonies held on the Riverwalk at the New Orleans Hilton, Christine Sande Crowley, wife of Tom Crowley Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime, christened the Sea Reliance, and her mother, Linda Engle Sande, christened barge 550-1.
Intrepid Ship Management, a subsidiary of Marine Transport Lines, will charter the Halter Marine
-built ATB from Vessel Management Services and operate it. Marine Transport is a Crowley subsidiary and part of its contract services segment.
"We are pleased to be the first company to build a petroleum barge under the ABS (American Bureau of Shipping
) SafeHull program," said Crowley. "Under this program ABS puts the vessel design through an exhaustive review process, which examines in finite detail the areas of the structure subjected to stress under dynamic conditions. The design is then modified to strengthen areas found to be less than adequate. This up front engineering results in fewer out of service delays for the life of the vessel."
"Not only have we built a double hulled petroleum barge, but we've also built a double sided tug for maximum safety and environmental protection," he said. "We are proud to have partnered with Crowley through a period of difficulty for Halter," said Richard McCreary, President of Halter Marine. "The delivery and christening coincides with our reorganization of Halter Marine as an independent and restructured company."
An ATB has an articulated, or hinged, connection system between the tug and barge, which allows movement in one axis, or plane in the critical area of fore and aft pitch. The ATB tank vessel was jointly designed by Vessel Management Services and Halter Marine to incorporate the latest advances in environmental and safety while addressing increased efficiencies in hose handling, anchoring, mooring, discharge and loading of product. The barge 550-1 was built at Halter's Port Bienville shipyard in Pearlington, Miss., and the Sea Reliance at its Moss Point Marine shipyard, in Escatawpa, Miss.
"Halter Marine is committed to continue its positive impact on the Gulf Coast," said Anil Raj, Chief Operating Officer of Halter Marine. "This project has provided jobs for more than 200 of the most skilled engineers and craftsmen in the shipbuilding industry."
Vessel Management Services will take delivery of an additional tug and barge from Halter and two tugs and two barges from The Manitowoc Company later this year. Each of the tugs and barges is being built to similar performance specifications as the Sea Reliance and barge 550-1.
The 550-1 is double hulled and the tug is double sided for maximum environmental protection and safety. The barge, built, documented and maintained to the requirements of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) SafeHull, has an inert gas system as well as an enhanced cargo system and a fully redundant ballast system.
The Sea Reliance meets all SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and ABS criteria, and has a foam capable fire monitor; twin fuel efficient, reduced emission electronic diesel engines; a noise reduction package and other upgrades to increase crew comfort. And the communication and navigation equipment is among the most technologically advanced in the industry today.