Seafarers-contracted Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) made two big announcements in July, and the results will mean more jobs for SIU members.
On July 16, OSG reported that it has signed contracts with a Korean shipyard to build two product chemical tankers that will sail under the Stars and Stripes.
Two weeks later, on July 31, OSG announced an agreement for construction of a 204,000-barrel oil and chemical tank barge for dual-mode integrated tug-barge (ITB) service.
The two tankers, slated for delivery during the second half of 2019, will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Company’s Ulsan, Korea, facilities. In a news release, OSG said the vessels “will be built to comply with MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 Tier III standards regarding nitrogen oxide emissions within emission control areas. In addition, each vessel will have installed exhaust gas cleaning systems, often referred to as scrubbers, to meet the standards of MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 standards regarding sulphur oxide emissions.”
Sam Norton, president and CEO of OSG, stated, “OSG is committed to maintaining a leading presence in the U.S.-flag petroleum transportation sector. Our initiative to pursue construction of modern, efficient and environmentally responsible vessels sends a strong signal to our customers, our stockholders and our employees that we are confident in achieving our commitment and that we have the resources and unique skill sets to enable us to do so. We look forward to the contribution that these vessels will make to our long-term success once delivered.”
Meanwhile, the 581-foot barge will be built by Gunderson Marine, a subsidiary of The Greenbrier Companies. It’s scheduled for delivery during the second quarter of 2020; the agreement includes an option to build a second barge, which would have a slated delivery date during the fourth-quarter of 2020.
OSG plans to pair the barge with existing tugs from its SIU-crewed fleet. It will be utilized in the Jones Act trade.
“The Gunderson Marine contract for construction of a new barge is an exciting development for OSG,” said Norton. “This transaction represents the first significant new capital investment into our Jones Act businesses in nearly a decade and is an affirmation of our commitment to operate ATBs, as well as tankers, within this market.”