October 17, 2006
U.S. Shipping completes ATB charter
U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. (NYSE: USS) reports that it has completed a long-term time charter for employment of the second of its series of articulated tug barges ("ATBs") scheduled to be delivered in mid-2008.
The ATB which is the subject of this charter is the first in the series to be constructed by Manitowoc Marine Group (barge component) of Marinette, Wisconsin and Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. (tug component) of Panama City, Florida.
The charterer, an investment grade company, will utilize this vessel in its domestic coastwise trade in refined petroleum products and chemicals.
The first ATB in the series, scheduled for completion in April 2007, is covered by contracts of affreightment in U.S. Shipping's U.S. flag chemical transportation business.
U.S. Shipping expects that these contracts of affreightment will utilize substantially all of the first ATB's capacity through June 2010.
Upon delivery, U.S. Shipping expects both of these ATBs to be financially accretive.
These ATBs feature a flexible cargo system capable of carrying a broad spectrum of refined petroleum products and chemicals, a fuel efficient main engine and a hull design which will allow service speeds generally in excess of standard ATB designs.
Paul Gridley, Chairman and CEO, said: "This charter further reinforces the value of our new ATB series to our customer base. We are pleased to announce the completion of this charter fixture and continue to engage in discussions with other customers concerning charters on the successor ATB units we have under contract."