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March 24, 2010

Bollinger completes ATB conversion for Bouchard

Two Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. companies -- Bollinger Algiers, L.L.C., and Bollinger Amelia Repair, L.L.C. -- have redelivered the 133,000 bbl asphalt Barge B. No. 235 and accompanying tug, J. George Betz to Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc., Melville, N.Y. as an Articulated Tug/Barge (ATB) unit.

Bouchard contracted with Bollinger Shipyards to upgrade both the tank barge and the 6,140 bhp oceangoing tug J. George Betz to better serve its customer base, with increased safety and efficiencies, as an articulated unit.

"We are very pleased to once again be part of Bouchard's continued efforts to upgrade their fleet," said Bollinger's Executive Vice-President of Repair, Ben Bordelon. "The work schedules of Bollinger Algiers and Bollinger Amelia Repair were able to accommodate both upgrades concurrently for the strategic conversion of the B. No. 235 and the Tug J. George Betz. These projects enabled Bollinger to capitalize on the capabilities of our facilities to produce a quality product, which met Bouchard's schedule in a safe and timely manner. We look forward to working with Bouchard on future projects."

Barge B. No 235 was taken out of service and delivered to the Amelia facility to install an Intercon connection system and upgrade the barge with a full ballast system. During the conversion process, the barge also completed its regulatory docking and permitting process prior to successfully completing builder's trials.

Returning to full service as an ATB asphalt capable tank barge, the double hulled, OPA 90 compliant barge measures 483 ft x 80 ft x 36 ft 2 in without the tug coupled into the notch.

At the same time that the barge was taken out of service, the accompanying tug, J. George Betz, was delivered to the Bollinger Algiers facility to install the Intercon connection system, upgrade the vessels electronics systems as well as to complete regulatory docking and permitting with ABS.

The Intercon system enables the 127 ft x 37 ft x 20 ft tug to lock into the barge as an articulated unit.

"The M/V J. George Betz and B. No. 235 conversion to intercon and segregated ballast is the first of three upgrades which we hope to complete in the future," said Morton S. Bouchard, III, President/CEO of Bouchard Affiliates (Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. / Bouchard Ocean Services). "I would like to thank the men and women of Bollinger for another successful project and look forward to future contracts with the Bollinger companies."

After completing builder's trials, the vessels departed to take on the first load of product as an ATB unit.

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