Crowley, Bollinger To Build 100,000-Barrel ATB

Crowley Bollinger
New ATB to be built by Bollinger Shipyards for Crowley Fuels LLC. (Photo courtesy of Bollinger Shipyards)

Crowley Fuels LLC announced last week the company has signed a contract with Bollinger Shipyards to build a sprawling 100,000-barrel articulated tug-barge (ATB) at Bollinger’s Amelia, La., shipyard.

Crowley will operate the forthcoming Alaska-class ATB under a long-term charter with Alaska-based Petro Star Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). Crowley’s relationship with ASRC goes back some 40 years, Crowley said in a statement announcing the ATB.

Crowley expects to take delivery of the ATB in the fourth quarter of 2019. Crowley’s contract with Bollinger carries an option for a second vessel. Crowley’s own marine solutions group will offer in situ construction management at Bollinger’s Amelia shipyard from final design phase through delivery.

“While Crowley has operated ATBs in Alaska in the past, this will be the first ATB of its size and class that will be dedicated to the Alaska market,” Crowley Fuels Senior Vice President and General Manager Rocky Smith said. “The vessel’s capabilities make it ideal to serve the market with the safe and reliable service Crowley has built its reputation on. We look forward to working with our partners at Bollinger to deliver a world-class ATB to this region.”

Crowley will name the barge portion of the ATB Oliver Leavitt after ASRC’s former chairman and current member of the corporation’s board of directors. The tug will be named Aveogan, which is Leavitt’s Iñupiat name. The Iñupiat are a native Alaskan people.

“We’re honored Crowley has chosen to name the barge after one of the corporation’s early leaders,” ASRC President and CEO Rex A. Rock Sr. said. “Crowley continues to be a vital partner, and we look forward to commissioning this new ATB as an integral part of our transportation network as we deliver fuels throughout Alaska.”

Jensen Maritime, Crowley’s naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary, designed the 483-foot ATB with increased structural framing and shell plating and extended zero discharge endurance in order to meet all Ice Class and Polar Code requirements. The ATB will also feature a barge form factor to maximize cargo capacity with a minimal draft.

The tug will feature Z-drive thrusters, along with an Intercon coupling system equipped with a first-of-its-kind lightering helmet and barge ladder wave design. The tug includes fire monitors and a foam proportioner, which make off-ship firefighting possible.

Both the main engines aboard the tug and the barge engines are by GE and are Tier 4 compliant. The barge will feature a ballast water treatment system, while the tug will have a closed-loop ballast system that will transfer the tug’s ballast to a retention tank on the barge. Thus, there is no ballast water treatment system on the tug.

The barge will have deep-well pumps in cargo tanks and all-electric deck machinery to reduce the risk of hydraulic spills. The barge will also have spill response equipment and two hydraulic boom reels to bolster spill response capabilities.

The forthcoming ATB will adhere to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and will be classed with the American Bureau of Shipping. Safety features and crew amenities will include 45-degree staircases, interior noise reduction and bathroom-equipped staterooms.

Crowley Fuels, a subsidiary of Crowley Maritime, a 126-year-old marine solutions, energy and logistics services company, operates and manages some 37 large petroleum transportation vessels, which offer a combined capacity of more than 10 million barrels.