Dixie Carriers To Build And Operate Barges For Norwegian Firm

Dixie Carriers, Inc., a subsidiary of Kirby Exploration Company, Inc., has entered into a multiyear agreement with Odfjell Westfal- Larsen Tankers of Bergen, Norway, for the construction and operation of three specialty tank barges. The barges, to be constructed by Platzer Shipyard, Inc., Channelview, Texas, a quality builder of barges and other equipment for industrial use, will feature multigrade stainless steel cargo tanks with separate piping, pumping and vapor emission control systems. Furthermore, the barges will be equipped with closed gauging systems, separate ballast tanks and an innovative hydraulically driven deepwell pump system supplied by Frank Mohn A/S (Framo) of Bergen, Norway. These special barges will be capable of safe and simultaneous handling and carriage of a wide variety of petrochemicals and other specialty bulk liquid products, including cargoes that presently move by truck and rail only.

Odfjell Westfal-Larsen Tankers (OWLT), a pioneer and leader in the ocean transportation of specialized petrochemicals, owns and operates one of the world's largest fleets of sophisticated chemical tankers involved in worldwide transportation. As part of its cargo consolidation program, OWLT has contracted with Dixie to handle certain domestic transportation needs involving cargoes to and from OWL Tankers at its Baytank Marine Terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, thus saving costly port time for the ships. The Port of Houston serves as home port for OWLT's fleet of advanced chemical tankers.

Dixie, a marine transportation service company, transports liquid cargoes, primarily petrochemicals, on the inland waterways system. Dixie's other subsidiaries provide offshore transportation of both dry and liquid products, diesel repair and harbor services.

Joseph H. Pyne, president of Dixie Carriers, stated that besides meeting the needs of OWLT, the new barges would enable his firm to compete in the specialty chemical handling market now dominated by the truck and rail industries. The new barges will be ready for service during the first part of 1989. Dixie and OWLT are also presently in the process of converting existing barges to multigrade units which will be in service in late summer of this year.

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