The tug and barge hull form design was optimized at MARIN, a state of the art leading testing facility in nautical research and development, located in the Netherlands. The vessel features a proven Articouple interconnect system for the tug and barge. Its high-tech ATB design includes all of the latest innovations and developments in dredging technology. MARIN’s Senior Project Manager Klaas Kooiker stated, “Having modeled and tested many of the world’s modern hopper dredge hull forms, we were very pleased to see the Great Lakes ATB hull achieve similar speed and power results. We believe this is the first ATB hull to equal ship performance capabilities.” The ATB will be equipped with a direct high power pump-ashore installation, a hybrid power sharing configuration between the tug and barge, dynamic positioning and tracking, EPA Tier III compliant engines, and additional features designed to minimize the impact of its dredging process on the environment.
Great Lakes President of Dredging Operations Dave Simonelli stated, “We have ownership and operating experience with tug-barge dredge combinations that dates back 40 years. ATB and hopper dredge technology have advanced greatly during that time. I am pleased that our in-house engineering team working in close cooperation with Offshore Tug and Barge Corporation were able to design a proprietary unit, for which a patent is pending, that will be able to achieve ship-like productivity and efficiency at an ATB’s lower operating cost. Our dredge is a ‘game changer’ in the competitive hopper dredging marketplace and will bring important new capacity to the U.S. hopper dredge fleet. The favorable environmental and safety features of the design, including greater fuel efficiency, green overflow systems and automated processes, were important considerations. These features emphasize our focus on minimizing the impact of dredging on the environment and providing a safe work environment for our employees.”