LAKE OSWEGO, Ore., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. [NYSE:GBX] announced today that its Gunderson Marine division in Portland, Oregon has received an order from Kirby Offshore Marine to build a second articulated ocean-going oil & chemical tank barge ("ATB") to meet sustained demand. The order results from Kirby's exercise of its purchase option Greenbrier previously announced in January when Kirby ordered its first ATB. The second ATB is identical to the vessel that Kirby ordered in January, a state-of-the-art 578' tank barge with a carrying capacity of 185,000 barrels. The second Kirby barge is scheduled for completion in the first-half of 2016. These barges are among the largest built in Gunderson's marine history. The order brings Greenbrier's current marine backlog to approximately $120 million, its highest level in nearly five years.
"We are benefitting from continued strong demand for the transportation of goods by ocean-going barge, particularly the transportation of petrochemicals, crude oil, refined petroleum products and agricultural chemicals," said William A. Furman, Greenbrier Chairman and CEO. "As we recover from one the coldest North American winters in recent memory, we expect to see increased freight traffic across modes. This should benefit our marine and railcar manufacturing operations with associated demand for our other offerings in our Wheels, Repair & Parts and our Leasing & Services businesses."
"Gunderson is a great place to work, and Kirby's second ATB order along with other recent orders for both marine and rail products means we will be busy through the next several years," said Mark Eitzen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Gunderson. "We have recently welcomed more than 200 new co-workers to our Portland waterfront operations to support our expansion in manufacturing. We expect to add at least 200 more jobs in the next several months, all with competitive pay and benefits, bringing our total employment to over 1,000 workers."
Operating from the largest side launch on the west coast, Gunderson is the only shipyard on the west coast with successful experience in building large, articulated tug barges. Gunderson has the capacity to build up to four large articulated tug barge projects of this size per year.