JULY 14, 2015—During a ceremony on a typical sunny Louisiana morning, Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., Melville, NY, christened the largest Articulated Tug Barge unit in its fleet expansion today at the Port of New Orleans.
The Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) consists of the 10,000 hp twin-screw ATB tug M/V Kim Bouchard and the 250,000 bbl B. No. 270. The barge measures 628 feet long, with a beam of 91 feet and depth of 47 feet.
During the christening ceremony, Monsignor James Vlaun provided the invocation, blessing the tug and barge. Marie Romais, wife of Dimitri Romais, the Chartering Manager of SeaRiver Maritime, broke the traditional bottle of champagne on the hull of the tug, naming the vessel, "Kim Bouchard."
Designed by naval architectural firm Guarino & Cox, both vessels were built by VT Halter Marine, Pascagoula, MS. Featuring a bulbous bow for fuel efficiency, Barge B. No. 270 was launched at the Pascagoula Shipyard Operations in Pascagoula, MS, on May 1. The Kim M. Bouchard was launched at the Moss Point Marine facility in Escatawpa, MS, on February 26. The Kim M. Bouchard is classed by ABS as +A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode ATB, USCG Subchapter M, and is equipped with an Intercon Coupler System.
Following the christening, the new ATB set sail down the Mississippi for Houston to be loaded with WTI crude under charter for ExxonMobil.
VT Halter Marine and the Bouchard family have a long history of working together. During remarks at the ceremony, VT Halter Marine’s Sid Mizell said that the shipyard has built 21 tugs and 13 barges for Bouchard since 1975. VT Halter Marine is currently finishing a second 250,000 bbl ATB unit and two 6,000 hp ATB tugs for Bouchard Transportation. The ATB unit, consisting of the 10,000 hp ATB tug Donna J. Bouchard and the 250,000 bbl Barge B No. 272, will be delivered in January 2016. The two smaller tugs are due for delivery in 2016 and mated with two ocean tank barges being converted by Bollinger Shipyards.
Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York. Bouchard is a family-owned business and the nation’s largest independently-owned oceangoing petroleum barge company. The company operates on all three coasts of the United States: East, Gulf, and West, as well as the Great Lakes. Bouchard's fleet consists of 25 barges ranging from 25,000 to 252,000 barrels and 21 tugs ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 horsepower.