Gulf Island Fabrication has won a contract to build two towboats for the US inland towage market as a surge in contracts continues.
On 28 August, Gulf Island announced it was awarded an option to build the second towboat for an unnamed owner.
The first vessel for this order was awarded in May this year. Both towboats will be built to ABS rules for US trade with power ratings of 2,460 kW (3,300 hp). They will be built at Gulf Island’s shipyard in Houma, Louisiana.
It will take about 12 months to construct each of these vessels, with the first towboat due for delivery mid-2019 and the second two months later.
Gulf Island president and chief executive Kirk Meche said these contracts were opportunities to enhance its shipyard activity and shows commitment from its clients.
Gulf Island has a backlog of tugboat and towboat orders that stretches into 2025 as it has commercial and naval contracts.
It has contracts to build Z-tech tugs for Bay-Houston Towing Company and Suderman & Young Towing, plus options for more and one tug for St Lawrence Seaway Development Co. Gulf Island is also constructing salvage tugs for the US Navy with options for up to eight vessels.
There has been a wave of new tugboat construction orders with 22 contracts awarded in the H1 2018 according to BRL Shipping Consultants. More details on these orders can be found in the Q3 2018 issue of Tug Technology & Business.