Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG) has reportedly been awarded a contract to build an articulated tug barge unit (ATB) scheduled to be delivered next year.
The contract also explores the option to build a second ATB unit which will be expected in 2018.
ATBs are comprised of a tank vessel (barge) and a tug which is located in a notch in the stern of the barge allowing the tug to accelerate barge.
The new barge, which will have dimensions of 578ft by 78ft, will have the capacity to accommodate 185,000-barrels.
The tug in conjunction with the barge will be powered by an 8.000HP unit equipped with Tier IV engines compliant with the latest environmental protection agency (EPA) emission standards.
The vessels will be built at FMG’s Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS) in Sturgeon Bay and following its delivery, it will be commissioned on the US East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.
Fincantieri Marine Group president and CEO Francesco Valente said: "This new contract marks an additional expansion of our product portfolio, confirms our ability to win business with new customers in a very competitive market and further consolidates our presence and reach in the US market."
FBS vice-president and general manager Todd Thayse said: "This award increases our pipeline of new construction to 10 vessels and provides additional stability to our business.
"We are grateful for the confidence that our customers continue to place in our reputation for quality and the strong shipbuilding skills of our workforce."
In 2014, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding was contracted by a US-based tank barge operator, Kirby Corporation, to construct articulated tug and barge (ATB) units.
Image: A view of Fincantieri’s subsidiary Bay Shipbuilding at Sturgeon Bay. Photo: courtesy of Royalbroil.