Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc., Melville, N.Y., is continuing its five-year fleet expansion with another articulated tug-barge unit now under construction at two Gulf shipyards.

The 112’x35’x17’, 4,000-hp tug Evening Breeze will be a sister ship to the ATB tugs Denise M. Bouchard and Evening Star when it is completed at VT Halter Marine Inc., Pascagoula, Miss. With an Intercon coupler system and Tier 4-compliant engines, the Evening Breeze will push B. No. 252, the 317’6”x70’x28’, 55,000-bbl. barge under construction at Bollinger Shipyards.

The project, the latest in a long history of Bouchard working with VT Halter and Bollinger, is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2019.

"Our companies have repeatedly teamed on projects going back to the 1970s, and we are excited to continue our relationship with the building of this ATB tug,” Robert Socha, senior vice president at VT Halter, said in a prepared statement.

“The Bollinger and Bouchard families have a long tradition of working together, and we appreciate the opportunity to continue this tradition,” Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s president and CEO, added in a prepared statement.

The project is being overseen by Hank Stewart, Bouchard’s manager of new construction. Prior to joining Bouchard, Stewart was vice president of production at a U.S. shipyard specializing in small- to medium-sized oceangoing vessels.

Since 2012 Bouchard has made significant advancements to its fleet, including two state-of-the-art ATB units and four ATB tugs that feature the newest modifications to the Intercon and pin system, and Tier 4 engine emission controls for a more environmentally friendly fleet. With 26 barges and 25 tugs, Bouchard is the largest independently owned U.S. oceangoing petroleum transport company.