VT Halter Marine, a subsidiary of VT Systems, laid the keel Monday for barge B No. 270, which is one of two articulated tug-barge units the shipyard is building for Bouchard Transportation Co. The 625'x91'x47' barge has a 250,000-bbl. capacity and will be used to transport liquid petroleum. The barge is ABS and USCG certified for Jones Act service. Construction of the two units began April 2013 at VT Halter’s Pascagoula, Miss., facility, with delivery scheduled for mid-2015.

VT Halter has also scheduled a Feb. 6 launch for the oceangoing 112' 4,000-hp ATB Denise A. Bouchard, sister tug to the previously built Evening Star. The 112'x35'x17' tug is classed by ABS as A1 Towing Vessel, Dual Mode, and is equipped with an Intercon coupler system. Upon delivery, the ATB units and the offshore tug will enter into Bouchard’s fleet service in New York.

“Bouchard Transportation is pleased with the progress of construction of the Kim M. Bouchard and B. No.270 and the Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272, the most modern, safest and efficient ATBs ever built for the Jones Act trade, as well as the Denise A. Bouchard which will be married up to the B. No. 284," said Morty S. Bouchard IV, vice president of operations for Bouchard.