December 2, 2008
U.S. Shipping Partners gets third ATB
The latest news from U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. (PINKSHEETS: USSPZ) is a little cheerier than when we last reported on its various woes.
Today the partnership announced that its third Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) unit was delivered on schedule with the sailing of the barge Petrochem Trader and the tug Brownsville from Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The Petrochem Trader, the barge for the third ATB unit, was constructed at Bay Shipbuilding and delivered November 4, 2008. The Brownsville, the tug for the third ATB unit, was constructed at Eastern Shipbuilding, Panama City, Florida and delivered October 31. Upon delivery of the Brownsville, the tug sailed from Panama City and arrived in Sturgeon Bay on November 19 for final commissioning of the ATB. The Brownsville / Petrochem Trader sailed Sturgeon Bay and is currently enroute to the Gulf Coast and will enter service in early December as part of the partnership's chemical fleet.
Ron O'Kelley, President and CEO, noted, "The delivery of the third ATB demonstrates our continuing commitment to our customers to modernize our fleet by adding new double-hulled vessels in both the refined petroleum products and chemical markets. The fourth and final ATB in this series is currently scheduled for delivery in November 2009 and the first joint venture product tanker is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2009. These newbuilds, together with scheduled retirements and sales of our ITB fleet, will ensure that the partnership will have one of the most modern versatile fleets in the Jones Act trade."
The Partnership also announced that it has sold the ITB Jacksonville in the fourth quarter of 2008.