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Marine Log

July 18, 2008

Hawaii gets second eco-friendly interisland barge

Young Brothers, Limited, Hawaii's largest inter-island cargo company, is putting into service the second of four new freight barges that are providing replacement capacity in Hawaii's interisland cargo market.

On July 20, the Maka'ala, which cost nearly $12 million and has a cargo capacity of 8,600 tons, is scheduled to begin transporting cargo between Honolulu and Kawaihae, on the Island of Hawaii.

In Young Brothers' more than 100 years of service, this is the third time a vessel has carried the Maka'ala name, which means alert and vigilant.

A Hawaiian blessing with employees will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 18, 2008.

A sister barge, the Ho'omaka Hou, began service between Honolulu and Nawiliwili last November. These additions to the Young Brothers' fleet are part of a $186 million investment announced in 2006 to provide greater benefits and service to customers across the state.

"The Maka'ala and her sister vessels represent a new generation of barges, which are modern, fuel efficient and environmentally sensitive," says Glenn Hong, president of Young Brothers. "These new barges will allow us to carry 40 percent more cargo per voyage than the barges that they replace, allowing us to readily meet the needs of our customers and the future growth needs of our state," he continued

"Moreover, with the rising cost of energy and increasing environmental concerns over the sustainability of all of our activities, this ability to reduce our carbon footprint, by transporting more cargo per gallon of fuel consumed, is both timely and essential to the economic lifeline we provide to the people of Hawaii. The hull design for the new barges provides for less resistance at the waterline, resulting in faster towing speeds and conservation of fuel consumed by the towing tug," he continued.

In addition, Hong noted that the new barges' internal ballast system, which levels the barge forward and aft, and from port to starboard, uses fresh water and no discharge is pumped into the ocean. This means that there is no ballast water transportation of invasive species into the aquatic environment from one port to another.

The 3,175-ton Maka'ala was built in Portland by U.S. Barge, which is a joint venture between Oregon Iron and Vigor Industrial.

Young Brothers has contracted U.S. Barge to provide two more barges of the same design over the next year.

A third vessel, the Kala'e Nalu, is scheduled to be delivered in November of this year, with a fourth barge to be delivered in April, 2009. All of the barges are being constructed on Swan Island in Oregon, a shipyard that built "victory" ships during World War II.

"Before we went to U.S. Barge, we sought input from our employees and managers, as well as customers, in the design and engineering of the new freight barges," said Mark Houghton, Young Brothers vice president of marine operations. "This resulted in new barges and support systems that emphasize simplicity, safety, efficient operations, and fit the requirements of our Neighbor Island partners and ports."

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