New 15,000 Barrel Petroleum Tank Barge
Early October saw Christening and delivery of a new double-hulled bunker barge by Seattle's Vigor Fab to Seattle client Maxum Petroleum. The Global Pilot, a clean-sheet design by Seattle's Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), was conceived to balance performance with fabrication cost. The 15,000-barrel tank barge features a recessed machinery space aft for improved visibility and a state-of-the-art tankerman's office. It also has dimensionally identical cargo tanks, corrugated plate tank bulkheads, and plate seams arranged to maximize material usage of standard 8-foot and 10-foot plates.
EBDG provided the contract design to Maxum and provided Production Support services to Vigor, and the new vessel is one of several barges that have been delivered by Vigor to EBDG's designs over the past decade.
"We've built several tank barges to Elliott Bay designs, but this is the first of this style," says Bryan Nichols, Director of Sales at Vigor Fab. "This is more of a bunkering type barge," he notes.
Vigor Fab, which has been busy with new ferries for the Washington State Department of Transportation, is also prepared to build more commercial vessels, and has started cutting steel on a new 88-foot fireboat for the San Francisco Fire Department.
"We're planning a lot of projects," says Nichols. "We're ready to build tugs, barges, ferries and other workboats. As long as it fits in the time schedule, we can build it."
The barge was built in sections in the yard's prefab building, and the large sections were then moved to the buildway for assembly. The assembled barge was rolled onto a drydock and launched.
Nichols says the design makes for a well-built barge with a short construction period. "We could build this barge in around nine months for another customer," he says, "plus a couple months for design if there were significant changes."
He says the Seattle yard has seen interest in the barge by "a few other people."
"The Global Pilot went together very smoothly," he says. "Maxum is a great customer to work with, and Elliott Bay gave us a great design that was efficient to build."
Maxum says the Global Pilot is a clean-products-only barge that will focus on the transfer of MGO and bulk marine lubricants in the Seattle and Port Angeles areas.
There were several key performance factors that made this project possible for our organizations to work so well with one another, says Dan Kovacich, Vice President Marine Division at Maxum. "Primarily, Elliott Bay Design and Vigor Fab made true to their word and met their scheduled deadlines. Maxum Petroleum had a tight timeline; everyone acknowledged it and succeeded in building a 'best in class' barge."
"We've been looking forward to seeing the final product," says Mike Complita, EBDG's Vice President of Shipyard Services. "It's always exciting when a new design becomes reality and goes into service."
Another reason the project went so smoothly might be the fact that builder and client are next-door-neighbors on Seattle's Harbor Island. "The ability to collaborate closely with Elliott Bay and Maxum throughout this project was the perfect model for an efficient new build," says Nichols. "Our Seattle shipbuilding team is extremely proud to have fabricated a quality barge which will expand Maxum's multiple supply capacity in the Puget Sound for years to come."