AEP River Operations began operations of its new Liquids Division today when it took delivery of the first of 20 tank barges from Jeffboat. The addition of tank barges to the company’s fleet will allow AEP to transport liquid commodities, including petrochemicals and agricultural chemicals.

“Entering the liquid cargo market means we can offer our customers a more complete range of services,” said Keith Darling, president, AEP River Operations, Chesterfield, Mo. “We are bringing the same commitment to safety and environmental performance to the transport of liquid products that we’ve offered for dry commodities for the last 41 years. Our new liquid barge fleet will exceed the safety standards commonly found on 10,000-barrel barges.”

Each 200'x35' barge built at Jeffboat will have a capacity of 11,000 bbls and feature 6-lb. press tank tops, vapor recovery and Tier 3 John Deere engines. The 20 liquid barges will be delivered in 2014. AEP River Operations will begin liquid transport on Feb. 20. 

AEP River Operations is one of the largest inland river barge companies in the United States, transporting more than 65 million tons annually. The current fleet includes more than 79 towboats ranging up to 11,000 hp and more than 2,900 hopper barges. AEP has fleeting services in Convent and Algiers, La., and a shipyard in Belle Chasse, La. Crew and operations offices are located in Paducah, Ky., and Lakin, W.Va.

AEP River Operations is owned by American Electric Power.