Mississippi-based VT Halter Marine has launched the first of two articulated tug barges (ATB) constructed for Bouchard Transportation in Melville, New York.
The launch of the new tug named Kim M Bouchard was held at VT Halter’s Moss Point Marine shipyard in Escatawpa, Mississippi.
This 625ft-long barge will have a 250,000-barrel capacity and be paired with barge B No.270.
Bouchard Transportation president and CEO Morton S Bouchard III said: "Once married, the Kim and B No.270 will be Bouchard’s eighteenth ATB unit, and the safest and most technologically advanced unit of its kind."
The 10,000HP twin-screw ATB tug is equipped with intercon coupler systems, and has been classed by ABS as a +A1 towing vessel, dual mode ATB, USCG subchapter M.
Construction of this barge started in January 2014 and its delivery is scheduled for June this year. Once received, it will be deployed for the transportation of liquid petroleum.
VT Halter Marine CEO Bill Skinner said: "It is with great pride that we launch another quality-built tug today, the Kim M Bouchard, for our long-time customer, the Bouchard family.
"We look forward to joining her with Barge B No.270, as this is one of the most efficiently built ATB units for Jones Act trade."
In January, VT Halter Marine laid the keel for the first of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered, combination container roll-on / roll-off (ConRo) ships for Crowley Maritime.
Image: Bouchard Transportation’s ATB tug Kim M Bouchard. Photo: courtesy of VT Halter Marine.