Bouchard Transportation Co. christened its new articulated tug-barge unit, the Kim M. Bouchard and B. No. 270, on Tuesday in New Orleans. The ATB is the biggest vessel built to date in Bouchard’s ongoing fleet expansion program, company officials said.
Built by VT Halter Marine, the 150’x44’x24′, 10,000-hp Kim M. Bouchard and 628’x91’x47′ B. No. 270 were launched earlier this year at the VT Halter’s Moss Point Marine facility in Escatawpa, Miss., and at its shipyard operations in Pascagoula, Miss., respectively.
The black oil barge has a capacity of 260,000 bbls and is mated to the Kim M. Bouchard with an Intercon coupler system. It is equipped with systems for crude oil washing system, inert gas, and clean water ballast with two ballast water pumps. There are two cargo pumps and 12 cargo tanks.
A sister ATB unit, the Donna J. Bouchard and B. No. 272, are under construction at VT Halter and scheduled for delivery in January 2016.
“The Kim and B. No. 270 will be Bouchard’s 18th ATB unit and the safest and most technologically advanced unit of its kind,” said Morton S. Bouchard III, president and CEO of Bouchard. The new tug is named for Bouchard’s older sister, and joins a fleet of 21 tugs and 25 barges in the Melville, N.Y.-based oceangoing petroleum barge company.