Crowley takes delivery of tenth ATB in 650-series newbuild program

Crowley650-microVT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, Miss., has delivered Vision/650-10, the last of 10 Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs) in Crowley Maritime Corporation's  650-series newbuild program. The ATB is now ready to enter service and will transport petroleum products between U.S. West Coast ports. The Vision/650-10, which has a capacity of 185,000 barrels, will be operated by Crowley's petroleum services group.


The Vision/650-10 will carry petroleum products and features include a fixed-tank cleaning system, complete cargo heating system and the ability to carry EZ chemicals.

"Crowley is committed to providing safe and reliable petroleum transportation in Jones Act trades," said Crowley's Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services. "This class has a long history of safe petroleum transportation and offers compelling economics and exceptional performance."

The 650 class barges are 27,000 deadweight tons, 587 feet in length, 74 feet in breadth and 40 feet in depth. When coupled for operation the tug and tank vessel measure 689 feet. The fully loaded draft is 30 feet.

The new ATBs feature the latest systems technology and double-hull construction for maximum safety and reliability. Barge 650-10, like its sister vessels (650-1 through 650-9), is also certified by ABS to comply with the International Maritime IMO Green Passport program. All of Crowley's ATBs are built under the ABS SafeHull program for environmental protection. This program puts the vessel design through an exhaustive review to identify structural loads and strengthen the vessel structure.

There is an electrically driven cargo pump in each of the 14 cargo tanks to assure maximum cargo integrity and segregation flexibility; two anchor windlasses and associated equipment to enable the vessel to accommodate offshore mooring operations, and a vacuum system with three retention tanks to easily handle cargo changes. There is also a dual mode inert gas system and vapor collection system for maximum safety. An enhanced mooring system features 1,000-foot Spectra-type lines on split drums with a high-speed recovery rate of 100 feet per minute.

The tugs meet all SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea), American Bureau of Shipping and USCG requirements. The tugs are fitted with a foam capable fire monitor; twin heavy fuel engines with the ability to also burn Ultra Low Sulfur fuel.  Special attention was given to ergonomics and crew comfort by addition of a noise reduction package, advanced HVAC system and other features  designed to increase crew comfort and safety. The communication and navigation equipment is among the most technologically advanced in the industry today.

Crowley already has nine 650 class ATBs capable of carrying 185,000 bbls and four 550 class ATBs capable of carrying 155,000 bbls. These units are Jones Act qualified Three larger, Jones Act qualified ATBs, known as the 750 class, which will each have 330,000 barrels of capacity, are under construction; the first of which is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2011.

August 29, 2011

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