Crowley has signed a contract with Bollinger Shipyards to build two newly designed ocean going tugboats, with options for additional vessels. These 10,880-horsepower tugs are the beginning of a new-build program at Crowley to further enhance its ocean towing, salvage and offshore support capabilities.
The new tugs will be ideally suited to work with Crowley's new 455 series heavy lift deck barges, which measure 400 feet by 105 feet and offer increased stability for loads up to 4,200 pounds per square foot. Additionally, the tugs will be outfitted for, and capable of, rig moves, platform and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit tows, emergency response and firefighting.
Crowley subsidiary, Jensen Maritime Consultants played a key role assisting Crowley veteran Ed Schlueter and a cross functional team in the design of this new class of vessel. The new tugs will be designated the Ocean Class, with the first two named Ocean Wave and Ocean Wind. They will be constructed at Bollinger Marine Fabricators LLC in Amelia, Louisiana, with deliveries scheduled for the third quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 respectively.
These next generation tugs will be 146 feet long, 44 feet wide and have a draft of 21 feet. They are designed to have a minimum bollard pull of 150 metric tons, and range for the vessels will be approximately 12,600 nautical miles at 15 knots free running. The vessels, to be outfitted for long-range, high-capacity, ocean towing, will help position Crowley as an industry leader in this service for years to come. The tugs' features are designed with personnel safety as a priority. The waterfall style winch, shark jaws and retractable pins can all be controlled from the pilothouse, keeping the deck clear of personnel and creating a safer working environment.
"We are continuing to make the investments necessary to address the needs of our customers who are looking for best-in-class, modern and environmentally friendly equipment," said Tom Crowley Jr., chairman, president and CEO. "Crowley has always been an industry leader in tug design, technology and performance, and these new vessels are a reflection of our continued commitment to that. Moreover, they will provide our crews with ergonomic accommodations and comforts needed to minimize fatigue and injuries."
These next generation towing vessels are outfitted with twin-screw, controllable-pitch propellers in nozzles and high lift rudders for a combination of performance and fuel economy. The Caterpillar supplied main engines and generators are all EPA Tier II compliant, with the ability to be upgraded for future environmental standards, for cleaner emissions and a lower environmental impact. During construction the vessel will be documented and receive a Green Passport Certification. Further environmental protection is provided by the tugs' double-hulls, which are designed to prevent any overboard discharges of fuel or fluids. All tanks containing liquids are inboard of the side shell.
The tugs will meet all SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) criteria, and including ABS Fi-Fi 1 firefighting standards. Additionally, the Ocean Class vessels will have the capability to support salvage and rescue towing opportunities, as well as the U.S. Navy's SUPSALV Contract.
"Bollinger is proud to be Crowley's builder of choice for this program," said Chris Bollinger, executive vice president of new construction at Bollinger. "We provide the marine transportation industry with the best built vessels, meeting the demands of our customers for workmanship; design, and on-time, on-budget delivery. This modern design to be constructed by Bollinger's talented workforce will help Crowley maintain its leadership position in the industry."