Kirby Corp. announced today that it will acquire Targa Resources Corp.’s inland marine tank barge business for approximately $69.3 million in cash. The purchase will be financed through additional borrowings.

Targa’s inland marine tank barge fleet consists of 16 pressure barges with a total capacity of approximately 258,000 bbls., many of which are under long-term multiyear contracts. The transaction is expected to close near the end of the second quarter.

“Targa’s inland pressure barges are an excellent addition to Kirby’s fleet,” David Grzebinski, Kirby’s president and CEO said in a statement. ” With the ongoing petrochemical build-out progressing along the U.S. Gulf Coast, these incremental barges will give Kirby additional capacity to meet our customers’ growing needs for the movement of pressurized cargos such as liquefied petroleum gas and certain ethylene plant co-products. We expect to incur some costs in the near term. However, these barges will be approximately two cents per share accretive in 2018.”

Houston-based Kirby is the nation’s largest domestic tank barge operator transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, coastwise along all three U.S. coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii. Kirby transports petrochemicals, black oil, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals by tank barge. In addition, Kirby participates in the transportation of dry-bulk commodities in U.S. coastwise trade.

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.