Crowley Fuels has signed construction contracts to build a 55,000-barrel, articulated tug-barge (ATB) that is specifically designed to serve the Western Alaska market with delivery of clean fuel products. The 410-foot ATB will have enhanced performance features for the demanding river and sea conditions of Western Alaska. The area depends on safe and reliable marine delivery services during the short open-water season. An ATB consists of a tugboat and barge that are connected from the bow of the tug to a notch in the stern of the barge by a hinged connection system. This allows the two vessels to work as one.
The tug will be constructed by Master Boat Builders of Bayou La Batre, Ala. The 350-foot barge will be built by Gunderson Marine LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greenbrier Companies, Inc., in Portland, Ore. The ATB is expected to be delivered in January 2021.
Design of the ATB was completed by Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary Jensen Maritime, a Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm. Crowley’s project management group will provide plan review, on-site construction management in the shipyards, and will work with Crowley Fuels to transition the vessel into service.
“Our new ATB will continue Crowley Fuels’ long-standing commitment to provide Alaska with safe and dependable marine transportation to serve the energy needs of the state,” said Rick Meidel, vice president and general manager, Crowley Fuels. “We look forward to working with Gunderson Marine and Master Boat Builders to build both a high-performing and efficient vessel to serve the state and enhance our overall operations. The vessel’s capabilities will be able to meet the particular needs of Western Alaska, which depends on maneuverable and functional vessels for reliable supply of the communities’ fuel needs.”