JANUARY 16, 2014 —Houston-headquartered Kirby Corporation (NYSE:KEX) has signed an agreement to construct an articulated 185,000 barrel tank barge and 10,000 horsepower tugboat unit at a cost of $75 million to $80 million. The ATB unit is anticipated to be delivered in mid-to-late 2015. On delivery, the ATB unit will be chartered to a major customer for a four-year period with a one-year extension option.
Joe Pyne, Kirby's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "With the coastal fleet utilization around 90%, increasing demand for the coastwise movements of crude and natural gas condensate, and continued progress in expanding our coastal business to inland customers, new capacity is needed to meet demand. The 185,000 barrel ATB unit has the flexibility to access ports that restrict larger vessels, while still delivering large volumes of product for our customer."
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. (NYSE:GBX) said today that its Gunderson Marine division in Portland, OR, has received the order for the 578 ft tank barge component of the ATB and that it would be one of the largest in Gunderson's marine history.
It said the order included an option for a second unit and that it has the capacity to build up to four large articulated tug barge projects of this size per year.
Meanwhile, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, WA, signed a contract with Kirby Offshore Marine to build the ATB tug. The entire ATB unit is designed by Guarino & Cox, LLC, Covington, LA. The tug will have an overall length of 136 ft x 44 ft x 19 ft, with two EMD 20-710G7C-T3 diesel engines, rated at 5,000 bhp each at 900 rev/min.
Nichols Brothers expects to start construction of the tug this May, with delivery scheduled for the summer of 2015.