The technology group Wärtsilä has won an expanded deal for the maintenance of eleven articulated tug barges (ATBs) owned and operated by US-based Crowley.
The agreement, signed in December 2017, extends the original contract term from 2019 to 2023, and covers the maintenance of 22 Wärtsilä engines installed on board the eleven vessels.
The contract is Wärtsilä’s first maintenance agreement to cover complete propulsion systems, including seals and bearings.
“Our agreement allows us to execute carefully planned maintenance schedules, customize scopes, and achieve constant cooperation to complete our ATB dry docks on schedule, ensuring the reliability and efficiency of our vessels’ operations,” Crowley Engineering Director Marc Aikin said.
Sean Carey, Services Unit Director, USA, Wärtsilä Services, added that there was a growing interest in comprehensive maintenance agreements from companies as such arrangements allow them to focus on their core business.
ATBs consist of a tank vessel (barge) and a large, powerful tug that is positioned in a notch in the stern of the barge. It has a hinged connection system that allows the ocean-going tug to connect to the notch in the stern, enabling the tug to propel and maneuver the barge. This allows movement in one axis, or plane, in the critical area of fore and aft pitch.
With the pending acquisition of three tankers from SeaRiver Maritime, Crowley will operate 40 Jones Act qualified large petroleum transportation vessels in the United States with a combined capacity of more than 12 million barrels.