Kirby orders new barge from Greenbrier's Gunderson shipyard
The Greenbrier Companies said Thursday that its Gunderson Marine division has received an order from Kirby Offshore Marine to build an articulated ocean-going oil and chemical tank barge, with an option for a second unit, to meet growing demand.
The 578-foot tank barge is one of the largest in Gunderson's history, and will have a 185,000-barrel carrying capacity. This order, along with awards being finalized, will bring Greenbrier's current marine backlog to about $70 million. Construction on the Kirby barge will begin in June 2014, with completion scheduled in 2015.
Greenbrier said the outlook for transportation of goods by ocean-going barge is strong, driven by "continued strength in North American shale energy markets, coupled with
the unique role U.S. coastal waterways play transporting domestic crude
oil and other refined products to and from coastal refineries, and an
aging fleet of existing barges."
It said Gunderson is well-positioned to meet demand for new barges.
"Operating from the largest side launch on the West Coast, Gunderson is the only shipyard on the West Coast with successful experience in building large, articulated tug barges. Gunderson has the capacity to build up to four large articulated tug barge projects of this size per year," the company said.
Established in 1919 as a heavy steel fabricator, Gunderson has been a ship and marine barge builder since 1942. It entered the new freight railcar construction market in the early 1960s. Nearly 4,800 vessels have been built by Gunderson, with focus on large ocean-going barges. About 300 such barges have been built by Gunderson in recent years, including deck cargo barges, hopper barges, roll-on/roll-off railcar barges, dump scows, Panamax size vessels, and double-hull oil barges. Operations have expanded dramatically over the past decade with substantial investment in facility enhancements and lean manufacturing efficiencies.
Gunderson, through its marine and railcar divisions, currently has about 700 employees, and more than 150 of them are dedicated to marine.
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