AUGUST 30, 2012 — Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering Corp (OT&BE) has released some more details of the ATB dredge to be built by Signal International, at its Orange, Texas, shipyard for Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. (see earlier story).
OT&BE will design the tug component of the dredge. The "RAPID" Class ATB's high speed parent form lines for both the tug and the barge were developed by OT&BE and Taisei Engineering, of Tokyo. MARIN, in the Netherlands, is adapting the lines to the specific dredge requirements and engaging in the associated optimization. The design features near-ship speeds with ship-like horsepower and is a great advance in ATB design. Container ATBs under design with the same hulls will be capable of 16+ knots at near-ship horsepower levels.
OT&BE will also design the supporting structure in the notch area of the barge to accept the Articouple connection system that will be used to connect the tug and barge.
The 14,000 hp tug has large and high quality accommodations for 20 people, a crew size that is a rarity in ATB design. The amount of accommodations space will be necessary to provide for various operational and navigational crew members and support staff.
The tug will be tow-capable and will be classed by ABS. The tug will utilize a full-length forecastle design first applied in the marketplace in the ATBs that OT&BE designed for and delivered in 2010 to OSG. The most recent FacetTugs building at Senesco Marine for Reinauer also have this feature, as will three other ATB tugs currently under design.
Signal International is currently building two other ATBs of OT&BE design, both of which are 27,000 dwt bulk carrier designs, with 6,000 hp tugs.