MARCH 26, 2014—Privately held Gray Barge Companies, headquartered in Houma, LA, recently took delivery of a new 300 ft x 100 ft heavy lift deck cargo barge, the first vessel built at Conrad Shipyard's new Deepwater South facility in Amelia, LA.
Christened the Julius, the ABS-classed deck barge joins Gray Offshore, LLC, which already owns two other large ABS-classed ocean deck barges, the Cordie and Gwendolyn. Gray Barge owner John S. Gray says he expects the Julius to go to work in the Mexican Gulf, joining the company's other two large deck barges. "It will be supporting PEMEX drilling operations," says Gray. "We're looking to grow our ABS class offshore fleet. We expect to see a lot of activity in the U.S. Gulf Of Mexico over the next few years." While the company has been operating in the Mexican Gulf for a few years, Gray says that recent changes by the Mexican government to allow more outside contractors to support increased oil and gas production should also create more opportunities.
The U.S.-flagged Julius has an overall length of 300 ft, beam of 100 feet and depth of 19 feet 10 inches. "This addition to our fleet," says Gray, " with its 6,000 pounds per square foot, heavy duty deck configuration and radial spoon bow, offers our customers optimal solutions for their heavy lift needs." The Julius is built with 3/4 inch plate, 1/2-inch side plate, three longitudinal corrugated bulkheads, seven transverse corrugated bulkheads, with a deadweight capacity of 9,842 long tons.
This is not the first ocean deck barge built by Conrad Shipyard for Gray Barge. It also built the Cordie and Gwendolyn. "To be able to deliver barges of this size and quality, on time and on budget, from our newest facility is evidence of our commitment to our valued customers, such as John Gray," says Conrad Senior Vice President Dan Conrad.
Besides Gray Offshore, Gray Barge Companies also includes J.R. Barge, Inc., which has a fleet of more than 90 inland barges, and G&H Barge Repair, which offers barge repairs, barge leasing and limestone sales.