September 30 - Crowley Maritime Corporation's solutions group has received the first two of potentially four, new heavy lift, ballastable deck barges (HDBs) for use by clients in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new barges will be contracted and managed from the company's recently opened Singapore office.

Crowley says that they will allow it to better support regional customers in the oil and gas; mining; engineering, construction and procurement management (ECPM); and engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning (EPIC) industries who are increasingly embarking on large-scale onshore and offshore projects.

The new 400 ft (122 m) long by 120 ft (36.5 m) wide HDBs, are moored in Batam, Indonesia. They have 25 ft (7.6 m) side shells, providing both the capacity and deck strength (up to 4,200 pounds per sq ft or 25 tonnes per sq m) needed to accommodate larger drilling and production units used for deepwater offshore energy exploration and development.

They are designed with more robust ballast systems to deal with high tidal ranges found in the region's load and discharge ports and have higher internal strength which allows tolerance when ballasting to the seabed, fully loaded - where tidal movement can be problematic.

"Customers in this region require locally available and tailored assets for their project needs," said William Hill, director, business development in Singapore. "The industry has expressed the need for available equipment to support larger construction and topside moves along with complex deck loads. These HDBs were designed to do just that."

The barges are ABS classed, with an approximate deadweight capacity of 20,000 tonnes, and were designed by Crowley's Seattle-based, naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime and constructed in China by Seabridge Marine Contractors and Jiangsu Yangzijang Shipbuilding.

Crowley opened its Singapore-based project management and logistics solutions office in July this year, which was reported by HLPFI on August 1.