The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration will guarantee $40.8m in loans to enable the Canal Barge Company of New Orleans, Louisiana to order 30 open hopper barges and nine asphalt barges.

The hopper barges will carry coal for the generation of electricity and the asphalt barges will be used to carry home heating products.

All the vessels will be built by Trinity Marine Group at its yards in Missouri and Louisiana.

The total cost of the barge construction project is $46.6m with the loan guarantees filling 87.5% of the full project value.

The project brings the Maritime Administration’s loan guarantee portfolio nearly to $2.5bn for a variety of vessel types including tankers, tugs, barges, dive support vessels, drill rigs, ferries, offshore supply vessels and container vessels.