Ceremony Stresses Maritime’s National Security Role

May 2010

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Seafarers-contracted Crowley Maritime Corporation recently continued adding to its fleet of state-of-the-art articulated tug-barge tank vessels (ATB) when it christened the tug Achievement and barge 650-8 in Tampa. The ceremony took place March 26.

The Achievement/650-8 is the eighth of 10 new 185,000-barrel ATBs that the company is scheduled to launch by 2011.

Crowley reported that the newest ATB is “sure to be no stranger to the Tampa waterfront,” as it is slated to visit the port weekly, carrying petroleum products for Marathon Oil Corporation. The vessel joins other SIU-crewed, Crowley-owned and/or managed vessels – ATB Pride/650-7 and tankers Coast Range, Blue Ridge, and Pelican State – in calling on Tampa with loads of ethanol, gasoline or diesel. The vessels, starting with the Coast Range and Blue Ridge, have regularly provided safe and reliable petroleum transportation to the area since 2003.

During the recent christening ceremonies, which took place at the Tampa Port Authority, Cruise terminal No. 3, Maryann Douglass, wife of Crowley Senior Vice President and General Manager Puerto Rico/Caribbean John Douglass, christened the 10,728-horsepower tug Achievement, while Angela Ice, wife of Brent Ice, manager of marine logistics and commercial, Marathon Oil Corporation, christened the barge 650-8. SIU members were on hand for the event, as was SIU Houston Port Agent Mike Russo.

The newest ATB was designed by Crowley’s vessel construction and naval architecture subsidiary, Vessel Management Services, and built by VT Halter Marine in Mississippi. It joins a Crowley Jones Act fleet featuring (among other vessels) seven other ATBs with capacities of 185,000 barrels and four others with capacities of 155,000 barrels. Additionally, the company is having three ATBs with capacities of 330,000 barrels built for delivery by the end of 2012.

“With the introduction of this ATB to the market, we can claim over two million barrels of capacity in the Jones Act ATB trade,” said Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum transportation. “We have added 12 vessels since the inception of this program in 2002 and have five more under construction, solidifying our commitment to customers of providing them with safe and reliable petroleum transportation for years to come.”

An ATB has an articulated, or hinged, connection system between the tug and barge, which allows movement in one plane in the critical area of fore and aft pitch.

According to the company – which consistently credits well-trained SIU members for playing a vital role in helping maintain Crowley’s outstanding safety record –the new ATBs feature the latest systems technology and double-hull construction for maximum safety and reliability. Not only do the units have the capability of transporting refined products, they also can carry heated cargoes and “easy” chemicals, which require special arrangements of vents, stripping systems, pump components and tank coatings above those normally required for product carriers.

All of Crowley’s ATBs are built under the American Bureau of Shipping SafeHull program for environmental protection. This program puts the vessel design through an exhaustive review to identify structural loads and strengthen the vessel’s build. The 650-Class barges are 27,000 deadweight tons, 587 feet in length, 74 feet in breadth and 40 feet in depth. The fully loaded draft is 30 feet. When coupled for operation the tug and tank vessel measure 689 feet.

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Pictured below are some of the crew members, the new tug and the new barge.

Crowley Crew Members

Crowley Tug

Crowley Barge