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U.S.-based Crowley has taken delivery of its new 55,000-barrel articulated tug-barge (ATB) to serve in the Alaska Jones Act market.
The Aurora/Qamun is a 410-foot, double-hulled ATB specially designed to add “efficiency and range” for the transporting clean petroleum products for Crowley Fuels, the company’s Alaska-based business unit.
The Aurora/Qamun ATB is now the second ATB unit in Crowley’s fleet, joining the 100,000-barrel Aveogan/Oliver Leavit which is also serves the Alaska market.
“This purpose-built vessel was specifically designed by our in-house naval architects to safely and effectively operate in the Last Frontier, and especially in the remote regions of Western Alaska year-round,” said Ray Martus, vice president, Crowley Engineering Services, which oversaw design and construction. “Its advanced design and environmental protection features are tailored to the market needs and highlight Crowley’s dedication to sustainable vessel solutions in Alaska and beyond.”
Outfitted with EPA Tier IV engines for reduced emissions, the ATB has a range of 4,300 miles to access most locations in Alaska. The vessel also features Z-drive propulsion and 400 hp bow thrusters. The ATB also meets Ice Class and Polar Code requirements, which include increased structural framing, shell plating, and extended zero-discharge endurance with shallow water capability.
“The new vessel’s innovative design and environmental protection features continue to pave the way for improved fuel transportation services in Alaska for commercial and government customers,” said Rick Meidel, vice president and general manager, Crowley Fuels. “Aurora/Qamun will enhance our efficiency and provide many years of safe and reliable service for our valued customers.”
Master Boat Builders of Coden, Alabama, constructed the tug, and the barge was built by Gunderson Marine LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Greenbrier Companies, Inc., in Portland, Oregon.
“We are excited that the Aurora is headed to Alaska to do the important job it was designed and built to do and are grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this project,” said Garrett Rice, president, Master Boat Builders. “Crowley continues to set a high bar in regard to innovation, safety and sustainability and we share those values and hope to continue our strong relationship in the future.”
“We are thankful for the highly collaborative partnership with the entire Crowley team during construction of the ATB Aurora/Qamun for Crowley Fuels. This project further strengthens the U.S. Jones Act fleet and provided crucial support for numerous dedicated businesses and their employees during the pandemic,” said Richard Hunt, general manager of Gunderson. “We appreciate Crowley’s trust in our dedicated labor force and look forward to working together in the years to come.”
Crowley operates and manages the largest U.S.-flag petroleum and chemical tank vessel fleet in the country, including 42 Jones Act qualified large petroleum transportation vessels that carried nearly 570 million barrels of product with more than 5,700 transfers in 2020.
The Aveogan/Oliver Leavit ATB unit was built by Bollinger Shipyards and delivered to Crowley in 2020.
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