Tugs, barges and sludge ships


Last week, I got a chance to witness a diversified shipyard at work. At Bollinger Marine Fabricators, there were two commercial jobs and a government contract underway.

Lynn Falgout, the yard’s general manager, found time in his harried day to show me what was going on at the Amelia, La., newbuild yard. The commercial work is for Crowley’s four new Ocean-class tugs and an OPA ’90 tank barge for Bouchard. The first pair of tugs are 146’x46’x26′ and DP-1, but the third and fourth tugs will be 10′ longer and DP-2 certified. Senior Editor Ken Hocke, who was also with me in Amelia, will be at the christening of the first tug next month in Houston. Look for his story on the new Crowley tugs in the July issue.

Bollinger is also building yet another barge for long-time customer New York-based Bouchard Transportation Co. This time it’s a 55,000-bbl OPA ’90-compliant tank barge. The 317’6”x70x28’ B. No. 250 will be certified by the American Bureau of Shipping. It has 12 cargo compartments and two separate pumping systems, and is being fitted with an Intercon coupling ladder system.

And there was more work in the yard for New York. On the commercial side are sludge ships for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. In 2009, NYC DEP awarded Bollinger an $84 million contract for the construction of three 290’x70’x18’ municipal waste ships.

Currently, New York uses three sludge vessels for the transportation of liquid sludge from wastewater treatment plants without dewatering capabilities. The three new federally funded sludge vessels will have larger holding capacities and greener engines than the older vessels. So DEP hopes to improve transport efficiency and also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1,750 metric tons per year. The first of these vessels will be in operation in the fall of 2012, with the others arriving in 2013.

Look for more details on the sludge ships in the June issue of WorkBoat. 


About the author

David Krapf

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.

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