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February 21, 2002

ILS wins e-biz award
Inventory Locator Service, LLC (ILS) has been recognized as the ``E-business solutions provider to the maritime industry 2001'' for its vision and innovation by the Institute of Transport Management (ITM), it was announced recently by Patrick Sheedy of the Institute of Transport Management.

The ITM, established in 1977, is dedicated to the development of the transport industry. The Institute presents an annual award to celebrate technical innovation and progress within the industry. This year, the Institute focused on the expanding e-business market.

Bruce Langsen, president of ILS, stated, "It is very gratifying to be recognized for our achievements and the value we have brought our customers in the marine industry over the past twelve years. We are grateful to organizations like the Institute of Transport Management for understanding and recognizing the importance of e-business within the maritime sector.''

The awards committee stated that ILS has made a significant contribution to the shipping sector in providing a "`breakthrough Internet system that enables marine companies around the world to buy and sell spares, equipment and services online." The committee noted that is an unrivalled resource for marine companies to buy and sell parts, equipment and services quickly and easily directly on the Internet. They determined that "greatly accelerates the procurement process by quickly locating parts and finding suitable alternative suppliers on demand.'' Other factors for their decision were cited, including the fact that while many companies are just beginning to develop their own e-commerce systems, ILS has been connecting buyers and sellers electronically for over 20 years. Furthermore, with 9,000 subscribers in 78 countries, ILS is the original and largest business-to- business electronic marketplace serving the aviation and marine industries."

Bollinger starts tug upgrade program
A major conversion of eight Crescent Towing 105-foot sister ships, single screw tugs to 4,000 hp double screw vessels has begun at Bollinger’s Algiers (New Orleans) repair and conversion shipyard.
When completed, each of the currently 3,500 hp tugs will be re-powered with two Caterpillar 3512B engines coupled to Reintjes WAF 673 reduction gears driving 83-inch Bollinger stainless steel propellers. They will be installed in 84-inch type 37 kort nozzles with stainless steel inner rings and leading and trailing edges.

The boats will also have a 45-degree rudder angle for better maneuverability and their new power packages are designed to generate 100,000 pounds or 50 tons of bollard pull. Their sterns will also be modified to accommodate the new propulsion systems.

The Crescent tugs will take on a new external appearance,with modern wheelhouses and low profile stacks for maximum visibility. They will also receive new radars, GPS, depth sounders, hailers, VHF radios, fax machines, sound powered telephones, fuel emergency shut off systems, and remote control start and stop for the main engines.

Their engine rooms will be equipped with Coast Guard approved oil and water separators and sanitary systems. Their channel coolers will be replaced with grid coolers. Living spaces and galleys will be refurbished and new air conditioning and heating will be installed.

The conversion of all eight tugs could take four years. When asked if that would "tie up" the shipyard’s capacity, Mark Detillier, executive vice-president of Bollinger smiled and said, "No way. We have over 35,000 square feet of wet dock space and another dry dock at Algiers and 40 other dry-docks at our yards between New Orleans and Houston. We can accommodate up to 22,400 tons and service everything from small work boats to large ocean-going vessels and offshore drilling rigs."

The conversion project is part of a regular Crescent Towing program of continuous upgrading to better service its customers. The first tug at Bollinger is the 105-foot by 26-foot by 13.5-foot FLORIDA. It will be followed by the GLENN SMITH, G.SHELBY FREIDRICHS, LOUISIANA, MARGARET F. COOPER, MISSISSIPPI, NED FERRY and TEXAS. They were built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

New Orleans-based, Crescent Towing is part of the Cooper Group of companies. Its 23 tugs provide harbor towage for vessels on the Mississippi, Mobile and Savannah rivers.