February 22, 2006
U.S. Shipping Partners places ATB contracts
U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. (NYSE: USS) has entered into contracts with Manitowoc Marine Group of Marinette, Wisconsin, and Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. of Panama City, Fla. to construct two double-hulled articulated tug-barge units.
Manitowoc Marine will construct two barges, which have a carrying capacity of approximately 160,000 barrels. The contract with includes options to construct two additional barges. Eastern will construct the two tugs that will complete the two ATB units. The contract with Eastern also includes options to construct and deliver up to four additional ATB tugs.
The total construction price for the two ATBs is anticipated to be approximately $130 million, or $65 million per unit.
The partnership intends to finance the purchase price with borrowings and available cash.
The first ATB is scheduled to enter service in August 2008 with the second unit following approximately three months later.
These ATB units will be built to the same specifications as the ATB currently under construction by the partnership and due for delivery in December 2006.
Paul Gridley, Chairman and CEO, said: "We are delighted to announce the continuation of our ATB series, using our proprietary design, with MMG and Eastern. These two yards both have fine reputations and an established track record of successful deliveries and satisfied customers. With this ATB series, the partnership will continue to add state of the art double-hulled tonnage to its tank vessel fleet."