Bollinger Converts Bouchard Tug and Barge to ATB Unit

Bollinger Gulf Repair L.L.C. has completed the retrofit of a Bouchard Coastwise Management Co., tug and barge to an articulated (ATB) unit utilizing the Intercon Coupler System.

The 446-foot, 125,000 BBL (barrel) black oil Barge B. No.175 which was renamed Barge B. No.275, was transformed from a single hull to double hull vessel to meet the requirements of OPA '90. Her stern was modified with the matching Intercon ladder to accept the bow of the 127-foot tug CAPT. FRED BOUCHARD, which was retrofitted with ram assemblies of the Intercon system. New heating coils were added to the barge's existing hot oil system and a new ballast system was installed. A keel cooled Detroit Diesel 8V-71 generator set producing 99 kW was installed in the tug as back up for powering the Intercon hydraulic system and main generator. The tug and barge were both built in 1981.

Morton S. Bouchard III, president and chief executive officer of Bouchard Transportation Company Inc., said "We are pleased to announce that we have successfully taken delivery of our third retrofit unit, the CAPT. FRED BOUCHARD and the B. No. 275. The CAPT. FRED BOUCHARD is named after my grandfather and company founder. This brings Bouchard affiliates double hull fleet up to 11, with delivery of our 12th unit due out from Bollinger Gretna in several months. Bouchard affiliates have the largest double hull fleet in the country and are presently in the final study phase which will result in an announcement of another building program in the next few weeks."

Before the tug and barge arrived at Bollinger Gulf Repair, the shipyard pre-fabricated, sandblasted and painted certain components that were used in the conversion of both vessels. The barge was converted and inspected to the applicable rules of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) of shipping for Class Maltese A-1 Oil Tank Barge and the U. S.

Coast Guard for the carriage of petroleum products of Grade A and lower, excluding all types of crude oil, for Unmanned Services in Oceans and Manned special service.

Ben Bordelon, executive vice president repair, of Bollinger said, "Bouchard Barge B. No. 275 is the 24th double hull barge built or converted to OPA '90 standards by Bollinger facilities. I don't think any other U. S. shipyard comes close to Bollinger's experience in OPA '90 hull design, construction and conversion."

In simplest form, the patented Intercon system provides a single degree of freedom allowing the tug to pitch about a transverse connection between the tug and barge. All other motions are restrained so that the tug motions match barge motions in roll and heave. The connection is mechanical, accomplished with two independently mounted ram assemblies, gear driven, and configured for tug installation. The rams stroke transversely, engaging the vertical ladder structures incorporated onto both sidewalls of the stern notch. The resulting connection is rigid, mechanically locked, and fail-safe.

Bollinger's Lockport, La., new construction division is also currently building another double-hull articulated ATB unit for Bouchard. The tug, which will be named MORTON S. BOUCHARD IV, will be 130 feet in length, with a 38-foot beam. Power will be supplied by two EMD-16-645 F7BA diesels developing 3070 HP each at 800 RPM. They will drive 140-inch bronze propellers through Reintjes reverse/reduction gears with a ratio of 4.48:1.

Bollinger Gretna in Harvey, La., is building Bouchard Barge B. No. 242, a clean product ocean-going barge that meets the requirements of OPA '90. It will be 487-feet long, with an 80-foot beam and 36.6 foot depth and will be able to haul 135,000 barrels of cargo.

Bollinger recently delivered another new OPA '90 double hull ATB unit to Bouchard, the 130-foot tug JANE A. BOUCHARD and the 430-foot, 110,000 barrel Barge B. No 225.