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USCG Tank Barge Reg Looms Laborde Presses Mitsubishi’s “Mechanical Advantage”

Owners of tank barges eye

November 15, 2015 with trep- idation, as by then they must ensure that tank barge power units meet USCG Class 1,

Division 1 requirements for non-sparking machinery in a hazardous environment.

Laborde Products – with the “mechanical advantage of the Mitsubishi” – claims to have the solution.

By Greg Trauthwein

Covington, La.-based Laborde Prod- President, Laborde Products, Inc. ucts is not your standard diesel engine “Inland barge operators who are oper-

Mitsubishi is able to distributor. While Laborde Products ating barges with an 835 for a non-com- achieve Tier 3 emission was founded in 1998 by Tracy Laborde, pliant barge power unit must remove that standards with a me- the Laborde family has been heavily electronic controlled barge power unit chanical solution. Pic- involved in the marine industry since and replace it with a compliant power tured above is a typical 1954, when Alden “Doc” Laborde was unit or move the existing barge power tank barge set-up responsible for the design and construc- unit outside of the hazardous zone, or 10 tion of the ? rst offshore submersible feet from the nearest opening or ? anged

Pictured left is the

Mitsubishi S12R.

drilling rig, Mr. Charlie, a rig which to- surface,” said Brian Laborde, President, day stands as a museum in Morgan City, Laborde Products. “We are working

La. Doc and his partners formed the Off- with several large inland marine barge shore Drilling & Exploration Company companies to prove a mechanical barge (ODECO), which became the world’s power unit that can be installed in place mance while maintaining the simplicity kets have historically weathered hard cy- largest offshore drilling company. With of its existing non-compliant power of a mechanical engine.” cles up and down, and ultimately its cli- ents play a critical, long-term roles in the offshore rigs came the need for special- units with minimal if any modi? cations ized support vessels, so Doc teamed with to the barge. We have customized our Planning Ahead world economy. Short term gyrations are

While the looming tank barge busi- not a time for panic, rather strengthening his younger brother, John P. Laborde barge power units to ? t the skids of most ness is expected to be brisk for Laborde the team and facilities, planning for busi- (Tracy’s father), and founded Tidewater non-compliant power units, providing an

Products in 2015, Brian Laborde admit- er times to come. To that end, Laborde is

Marine Services, building the world’s easy solution for operators.”

While de? ning the ultimate size of the ted that the sudden, dramatic drop in oil currently investing in its Covington, La., ? rst offshore supply boat designed spe- ci? cally for the support of offshore market is elusive, many owners have pricing will present challenges to the headquarters to increase ef? ciencies.

company and its clients this year. “Our production capacity cannot keep drilling. Both ODECO and Tidewater delayed installing the new solution, pre- “We expect to see our marine markets up with the demand for our products became the dealers in this new offshore senting a ripe market to Laborde which with its mechanical version Mitsubishi slow down in the coming year, as we so we are going to triple the produc- drilling business with Tidewater becom- have seen a substantial pull back in the tion capacity of our facility to increase ing the world’s largest offshore supply engines has developed Class 1 Divi- sion 1 tank barge power units that ? t the offshore marine market, and we are be- our production capabilities. We will be boat company. ginning to see the effects in the inland substantially expanding the production

In short, the Laborde family – starting need. “This allows Laborde customers to with Doc and running to and through install the mechanical Mitsubishi power market,” said Laborde. “We believe that capabilities of Laborde Products to con- the new build programs of the inland op- tinue providing our customers with qual-

Brian Laborde, President and second units within the hazard zone, without the generation leader of Laborde Products redesign of the barge, which is required erators will slow down as a result, and ity products in a timely fashion. While – knows the marine business inside and if electronic engines are used with much we have heard that our customers are ex- we are watching the markets very close- periencing downward pressure on their ly we believe that this slow down will out. longer drive shafts,” said Oehrlein.

“We are the only engine company in day rates from the charterers, as well give us time to strengthen the core of our the market to offer a fully mechanical as continued upward pressure from the business and prepare ourselves for future

November 15, 2015

November 15, 2015 is the deadline USCG Class 1 Div 1 barge power unit,” crews due to a lack of supply of quali? ed growth as the markets recover. We look for tank barge power units to meet the said Laborde. “The key to our power crew members.” But while the near term at challenging times as opportunities to looks challenging, Laborde is swift to improve and re? ne our business and our

United States Coast Guard ‘no spark’ re- units is the mechanical Mitsubishi en- point out that marine and offshore mar- team.” quirement, said Douglas Oehrlein, Vice gine that provides power and perfor- 52 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • MARCH 2015

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