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Two Kirby ATBs underway at Signal’s Texas facility


On Friday, this reporter visited Orange, Texas, to check out Signal International’s Texas division newbuild facility, where a pair of 600-foot articulated tug-barges are underway.

Signal is building the $47 million ATBs for Kirby Ocean Transport Co., Houston.

The ATBs are made up of a 20,000-DWT oceangoing bulk barge and a 6,000-hp ocean tug. The 480’x90’x36’ barges are being outfitted with Ocean Tug & Barge Engineering’s Articouple connection. OTBE designed the ATBs.

The 125’x42’x22’ tugs, built and classed to ABS Maltese Cross, +A1 Ocean Towing Service standards, each feature a pair of EMD 12-710G-7 3,000-hp engines. The engines turn 135”, 3-bladed props in NautiCAN nozzles through Reintjes WAF-3455 gears with 5.091:1 ratios.

The first ATB barge is being finished in the yard, while both tugs and the second barge are currently being fabricated under cover. The Orange facility features 450,000-sq.-ft. of covered area, 20 acres of outside fabrication area, and 70,000-sq.-ft. of warehouse space. The yard also features a 385-ton floating crane, panel line equipment, and a Wheelabrator.

Work on the first ATB began in the second quarter last year, and fabrication of the second ATB began shortly after Kirby exercised the option for the second unit in August 2011.

The first ATB should be completed early in the fourth quarter, with the second to follow shortly after.

Check out this video report below that shows the ATBs underway at Orange:





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