Fincantieri Bay completes complex conversion of ATB barge

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JANUARY 23, 2019 — Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, WI, has delivered the newly-converted barge Commander to Port City Marine Services (PCMS) of Muskegon, MI. The Commander is a 495’ by 72’ freight barge that underwent extensive conversion, including the installation of new cargo holds, trunk deck and bow, and a new cargo unloading system.

Combined with its tug, the vessel operates as an Articulated Tug Barge unit.

Port City Marine Services is experienced in the management, conversion and operation of a variety of vessels including bulk freight ships and ATBs across the Great Lakes in the U.S. and Canada.

“This conversion was quite unique and challenging as it utilized the full breath of our skilled shipbuilders and the trades they represent along with our engineering and program management team,” said Todd Thayse, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager, commenting on the complexity of the 21- month project. “It was our pleasure to work closely with local engineering group Bay Engineering (also located in Sturgeon Bay) and the PCMS management group during the planning and construction phases. The entire Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding team appreciates their confidence in our shipyard, and the skilled men and women who make this type of project a reality. It’s always gratifying to do business with a repeat customer, and the Commander is reflective of the quality those customers have come to expect”.

“The costly challenge of expanding Jones Act-compliant dry bulk capacity created a lengthy deliberation in our camp and with our customer,” said Chuck Canestraight, President of Muskegon, Michigan-based Sand Products Corporation, the owner of Port City Marine Services. “Our history with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and knowledge of their well-proven skill set, gave our customer, lender and Board of Directors the comfort to approach such a major conversion project. Our thanks to the dedicated workforce at the Sturgeon Bay yard and all of those associated with this project.”

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding is a 63-acre facility focused on commercial construction, repair and conversion. It is one three Great Lakes shipyards: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Fincantieri Marinette Marine, and Fincantieri ACE Marine. operated by Fincantieri Marine Group, the U.S, division of shipbuilding giant Fincantieri.

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