MarAd Announces Title XI Loan Closing For Canal Barge Company

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd) announced September 15 the closing of a Federal Ship Financing Program (or Title XI) loan guarantee in the amount of just under $51.5 million for New Orleans-based Canal Barge Company (CBC). The loan, with a term of 25 years, provides financing for a total of three towboats and 17 barges, of which Canal Barge has already taken delivery.

“The Title XI program supports the construction of vessels in U.S. shipyards, strengthening this essential industrial base and supporting good-paying, high-skilled jobs,” MarAd Administrator Ann Phillips said. “The Title XI program also enables American vessel owners to modernize their fleets and expand waterborne transportation options.”

Besides the 17 barges that are already in service, the towboats benefiting from the MarAd loan are the mv. H. Merritt “Heavy” Lane Jr., the mv. Lizzie Lane Peus and the mv. Sally Lapeyre. Conrad Shipyard delivered the Heavy Lane, a 6,000 hp. towboat that measures just over 157 feet by 48 feet, in 2020. Steiner Construction delivered the 4,400 hp. mv. Sally Lapeyre in 2021. Steiner also delivered the mv. Lizzie Lane Peus, a sister ship to the Sally Lapeyre, in 2022. While the Sally Lapeyre is a Tier 3 vessel, the Lizzie Lane Peus features a pair of Cummins QSK60 Tier 4 main engines.

Founded in 1933, Canal Barge, one of the largest privately owned and independent marine transportation companies in the United States, operates a fleet of towboats and barges that serve throughout the nation’s inland waterways. The company also has a fleet of oceangoing deck barges that operate offshore.

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According to CBC, the Title XI loan application has been in the works for about two years.

“Successful in its mission of forming long-term, mutually-profitable partnerships with its customers, Canal Barge provides consistently high-quality marine transportation, bulk liquid storage and management services,” said Ron Zornes, CBC’s director of corporate operations. “The loan guarantee supports the modernization of the company’s barges and towboats. Jones Walker LLP served as legal counsel to Canal Barge in this transaction.”

Through Title XI, MarAd provides full faith and credit guarantees that support the nation’s merchant marine fleet and its shipyards. Title XI gives access to loans that have longer terms, higher loan-to-value ratios and lower interest rates compared to commercial loans, the Maritime Administration said in announcing the loan.

In addition, now that the U.S. Department of Transportation has designated vessels that support the offshore wind energy industry as “vessels of national interest” under Title XI, MarAd is now able to prioritize those vessels in its Title XI application review process. More information is available at