oat builders along the Great Lakes region are adept in building and repairing a diverse set of vessel types — from lakers to patrol boats, ATBs to ferries — under all types of weather conditions and in any kind of time frame. That “can-do” spirit is a testament to the people in the region who take a vested interest and pride in the work they produce. When Sturgeon Bay, WI, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding was awarded the contract to build a new self-unloading barge for Michigan-based VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Inc. (VTB), the project symbolized more than just the next newbuild contract for the yard—it proved significant for the region as whole. Representing large-scale new construction on the Great Lakes, for operation in the Great Lakes, the project is expected to support hundreds of jobs in the region over the next few years—and, as mentioned in “Great Economic Impact” on page 15, the vessel represents the first new tonnage added to the lakers fleet since 2012. “At Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, our nearly 700 skilled trade workers as well as
partnering contractors, vendors and suppliers will all be working on this project through mid-2020 when it is scheduled for completion,” said Todd Thayse, Vice President and General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. “This is exciting because it brings steady work to the hundreds of women and men we employ from across the region,” he added. The 740 ft x 78 ft x 45 ft, 37,512 DWT barge will be environmentally friendly and feature the first Great Lakes ballast water treatment system that meets EPA standards. The contract follows the completion of Fincantieri’s winter repair work—which included 17 vessels from the Great Lakes bulk carrier fleet undergoing repowers, repairs and inspections; the installation of an exhaust gas scrubber on board the current reigning “Queen of the Lakes,” Interlake Steamship Company’s Paul R. Tregurtha; the current conversion of the self-unloading open hopper dry barge Cleveland Rocks into a self-unloading cement carrier—conversion is to be completed by November 2018; and the delivery of an articulated tug-barge unit for Wawa Inc.
By Shirley Del Valle, Managing Editor
A familiar name to those who live or travel along the east coast, Wawa is a popular chain of convenience stores and gas stations— with $10 billion annual revenue. The use of the Jones Act compliant unit, which will be operated by Keystone Shipping Co., will help the company expand its reach in the growing Florida market where, since 2012, Wawa has opened up more than 140 stores. The ATB unit is comprised of the 578 ft x 78 ft x 42 ft barge, named 1964, and the 129 ft, 8,000 hp tug Millville, powered by two GE 12V250MDC diesel engines. But why would Wawa, a company based in Pennsylvania, pick a yard all the way up in Wisconsin to build its ATB? Prior to the christening of the unit, Brian Schaller, Senior Vice President at Wawa, clued the media in saying that Fincantieri’s proven history in building ATBs, its dedicated staff, and the investments made at the yard were major factors in choosing Fincantieri. “While there are multiple shipbuilding facilities along the East and Gulf coasts, our partners in the Great Lakes have the reputation and expertise to skillfully craft the vessel we dreamed of,” said Schaller. September 2018 // Marine Log 17