Gulf Coast Shipyard Group (GCSG) has launched the FMT 6000, an environmentally friendly tank barge, for Florida Marine Transportation (FMT).  The barge is the first of FMT’s new 6000 series 30,000 bbl. tank barges developed for FMT by the engineering group of Guarino & Cox. This series of new barges minimizes vapors escaping into the atmosphere while increasing safety factors when the barge is in operation. To further reduce emissions, all diesel engines mounted on these barges are Tier 3 compliant.

The new design achieves 6.4 psi of pressure and 2 psi of vacuum with minimum loss of cargo capacity, allowing these barges to deliver more product for FMT’s customers than other barges with similar pressure ratings.

As with all barges GCSG has built for FMT prior to this delivery, this barge is ice-strengthened in order to minimize damage in harsh winter conditions. The coating system for all FMT barges was selected to reduce the release of harmful VOCs (volatile organic components). FMT also requires painting of voids and other areas which would not normally be painted in order to ensure the quality and longevity of their fleet. FMT insisted that the construction of these barges take place entirely on concrete and under cover to insure that no paint or other contaminates ends up in the soil or streams. Additional spill containments and redundant gauging systems are also incorporated to protect against accidental overflow of product.

GCSG began building 297' x 54' 30,000 barrel barges for FMT in late 2011 at its Gulfport, Miss., facility. The contract currently calls for a total of 32 barges. However with options for 18 additional units, the contract could grow to 50 barges. GCSG is now delivering FMT barges on a 25-28 day schedule.