About half of Vane Brothers Co.’s business involves the transportation of petroleum products through its Vane Line Bunkering Inc. In addition to bunkering operations in Baltimore, Vane Line Bunkering moves product along the East Coast from Portland, Maine, to Norfolk, Va.
Vane has found a niche in the 50,000-bbl. market. Since 2001, the company has ordered six 52,000-bbl. double-skin barges (with options for two more) from Jeffboat to meet the needs of its customers. Three of the new barges will carry light oil and three will haul heavy oil. Heavy oil is generally black or dark in color and not as finely processed as light oil.
The recently christened Doubleskin 55 is a heavy-oil barge with a spoon-bow. It measures 362’×62’×24’6”, has 10 cargo tanks, and a pair of Byron Jackson four-stage pumps that each have a load rate of 4,000 bbls. per hour. The cargo system can simultaneously load two petroleum products. The pumps are powered by a pair of CAT 3412 DITA engines each rated at 581 hp at 1,800 rpm. The barge’s design was tank tested at the University of Michigan to make certain that it would follow the tug at 8 knots light or loaded without drifting within half of its beam (31 feet).
As a heavy-oil barge, it’s equipped with a VAPOR 8.6 million Btu, 460-volt thermal heater with a 30-hp electric pump and 15-hp blower. The barge will carry a crew of two and will be matched to the tug Patapsco. “Jeffboat has gone over and above to provide us with just the barges we need,” said Vane Port Captain Jim Demske. — K. Bergren Smith