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ACBL to Build High-Powered Towboat

Illustration courtesy ACBL

ACBL to Build High-Powered Towboat

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3988
March 14, 2023

U.S.-based American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) has announced plans for an 11,000 horsepower (HP) class inland towboat.

ACBL has signed a contract with C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, Louisiana, where construction is expected to begin this year. Delivery is planned for the third quarter of 2024.

“When comparing this 11,000 HP class towboat to smaller 6,000 HP class towboats frequently used for mainline operations, this larger horsepower vessel will increase efficiency by 20% or more on both a cost per ton mile and CO2 emission per ton mile basis due to the increase in tow size and tonnage capacity,” said Patrick Sutton, ACBL’s Chief Operating Officer.

“Our investment in this new towboat not only benefits our customers but also reflects our commitment to promoting a more sustainable and low- carbon future for our marine supply chain,” he added.

The vessel will be capable of pushing up to 56 barges, averaging approximately 75k tons of cargo.

Designed by Portland, Maine-based CT Marine, the twin-screw towboat will measure 198-feet x 50-feet x 12′-feet, with the pilothouse eyeline at 47-feet above the water. The design includes two Caterpillar C280-12 main engines provided by Louisiana CAT, paired with two Reintjes WAF 6755 reduction gears, provided by Karl Senner, LLC.

Generator power will be supplied by three Caterpillar 275 kW generators. The towboat will be outfitted with CT Marine CT28-SL nozzles housing 124-inch diameter stainless-steel, five-blade fixed pitch propellers and features Twin-DIFF flanking & steering rudder systems.

“We are investing in our future by building on the strength of our industry leading mainline operations. The addition of this new towboat is an example of our continuous efforts to modernize ACBL’s fleet and offer more innovative marine transportation solutions to our customers,” said ACBL’s CEO Mike Ellis. “Not only is this boat high-powered and highly capable, but it will also feature all the latest innovations in technology, crew comfort, safety and efficiency.”

The vessel is the first of several high-powered towboats that C&C Marine and Repair hopes to construct, says C&C President Tony Cibilich.

“We are proud to lead this project and know that it will contribute greatly to both ACBL’s customers and the capacity of the inland shipping industry once in operation,” Cibilich said.

The vessel can accommodate a crew of up to 12 and the design incorporates a floating, spring-mounted superstructure for additional crew comfort.

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