Barge-to-Vessel Conversion
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Barge-to-Vessel Conversion


US Gulf of Mexico shipbuilding and repair firm Halter Marine is to convert a single hulled, petroleum tank barge to a double hull vessel to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. America's largest independent oceangoing petroleum barge company Bouchard Transportation has entrusted Halter to convert the 446-ft barge B No. 155 by the addition of an outside hull in an operation expected to take somewhere between 10-14 months.
Following the completion of the modification, the barge's principal particulars of 446ft x 74ft x 2.5ft will be increased to 468ft x 85.5ft x 38ft and the ocean load line capacity will increase from 25,000 barrels of residual fuel oil to 158,000 barrels with segregated ballast. The project will also involve Halter installing an Intercon connection system on B. No. 155 and the 127-foot tug Buster Bouchard to convert both vessels into an integrated tug/barge configuration.
The system eliminates tow wires between the tug and barge as the tug is firmly connected to the barge by a pair of 50-inch-diameter rams projecting from both sides of the tug which lock into receptacles on each side of a 'notch' at the stern of the barge. All work will be carried out applicable to the rules of the American Bureau of Shipping.
(Lloyd's List -- 02-24-99, p. 11)


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