The Manitowoc Company, provider of marine services for the U.S. Great Lakes, announced that it has received a contract from Vessel Management Services of Seattle (Washington), to construct two double-hull tank barges and ocean tugs, plus an option to purchase two additional tug/barge units. These new vessels will comply with the provisions of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA ’90), which has created a growing market for double-hulled tank carriers. The vessels will be among the largest and most advanced of their type ever constructed in the United States.
The initial units under contract consist of two 155,000-barrel, double-hulled tank barges and two 9,280-horsepower, twin-screw ocean tugs. Manitowoc has built tank vessels since the 1920’s. In the 1980’s, the company began constructing petroleum barges, and in 1999, Manitowoc delivered one of the most sophisticated, double-hull petroleum tug/barges now in operation.Tom Byrne, president of Manitowoc’s Marine Group, added: “We expect that these contracts will create a backlog of work that could extend over 30 months. The four shipyards comprising Manitowoc Marine Group possess an industry-leading breadth of skills, which will be employed to construct these vessels efficiently and to the high-quality standards.
We will rely on Marinette’s outfitting skills for constructing the tugs, while Bay Shipbuilding’s expertise in steel fabricating, large-scale construction, and systems installation is ideal for building the double-hull tank barges.”