American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL), signed a contract with C&C Marine and Repair of Belle Chasse, La., to build an 11,000 horsepower (HP) class towboat.

“We are investing in our future by building on the strength of our industry-leading mainline operations. The addition of this new towboat is an example of our continuous efforts to modernize ACBL’s fleet and offer more innovative marine transportation solutions to our customers,” said ACBL’s CEO Mike Ellis. “Not only is this boat high-powered and highly capable, but it will also feature all the latest innovations in technology, crew comfort, safety, and efficiency. We look forward to working with Tony and his team at C&C on this project.”

Upon delivery, the vessel will operate on ACBL’s mainline network pushing up to 56 barges, averaging approximately 75k tons of cargo. Designed by Portland, Maine-based CT Marine, the twin-screw towboat will measure 198’ x 50’ x 12’, with the pilothouse eyeline at 47’ above the water.

“When comparing this 11,000 HP class towboat to smaller 6,000 HP class towboats frequently used for mainline operations, this larger horsepower vessel will increase efficiency by 20% or more on both a cost per ton mile and
CO2 emission per ton-mile basis due to the increase in tow size and tonnage capacity” said Patrick Sutton, ACBL's Chief Operating Officer. “Our investment in this new towboat not only benefits our customers but also reflects our commitment to promoting a more sustainable and low-carbon future for our marine supply chain.”

“This vessel is the first of several that we hope to construct, as there is a need for vessels with this kind of horsepower in the market,” said C&C Marine and Repair’s President Tony Cibilich. “We are proud to lead this project and know that it will contribute greatly to both ACBL’s customers and the capacity of the inland shipping industry once in operation. We are wrapping up detailed design and are expected to commence construction later this year with an estimated delivery date of 3rd quarter 2024.”

The design includes two Caterpillar C280-12 main engines producing approximately 11,000 HP, provided by Louisiana CAT, and will be paired with two Reintjes WAF
6755 reduction gears, provided by Karl Senner, LLC. Generator power will be supplied by three Caterpillar 275 kW generators. The towboat will be outfitted with CT Marine CT28-SL nozzles housing 124-inch diameter stainless-steel, five-blade fixed pitch propellers and features Twin-DIFF flanking & steering rudder systems.

The vessel can accommodate a crew of up to 12 and the design incorporates a floating, spring-mounted superstructure for additional crew comfort.