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Gunderson to build articulated tank barge for Kirby

Jan 16, 2014 12:02 PM

The 578-foot oceangoing vessel will be one of the largest in Gunderson's history

The following is the text of a news release from Greenbrier Companies Inc.:

(LAKE OSWEGO, Ore.) — The Greenbrier Companies Inc. [NYSE:GBX] announced today that its Gunderson Marine division has received an order from Kirby Offshore Marine to build an articulated oceangoing oil and chemical tank barge, with an option for a second unit, to meet growing demand. The state-of-the-art 578-foot tank barge is one of the largest in Gunderson's marine history, and has a 185,000 barrel carrying capacity. This order, along with awards being finalized, will bring Greenbrier's current marine backlog to about $70 million. Construction on the Kirby barge will begin in June 2014, with completion scheduled in 2015.

The outlook for transportation of goods by oceangoing barge is strong, and Greenbrier, through Gunderson Marine, is well-positioned to meet new barge demand. Continued strength in North American shale energy markets, coupled with the unique role U.S. coastal waterways play transporting domestic crude oil and other refined products to and from coastal refineries, and an aging fleet of existing barges, are all driving this demand.

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.

Established in 1919 as a heavy steel fabricator, Gunderson has been a ship and marine barge builder since 1942. It entered the new freight railcar construction market in the early 1960s. Nearly 4,800 vessels have been built by Gunderson, with focus on large oceangoing barges.  About 300 such barges have been built by Gunderson in recent years, including deck cargo barges, hopper barges, roll-on/roll-off railcar barges, dump scows, Panamax size vessels and double-hull oil barges.  Operations have expanded dramatically over the past decade with substantial investment in facility enhancements and lean manufacturing efficiencies.

Gunderson, through its marine and railcar divisions, currently has about 700 employees, over 150 of which are dedicated to marine.  Located on 75 acres along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, Gunderson is accessible year-round by oceangoing vessels and two transcontinental railroads, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific.

Greenbrier (www.gbrx.com), headquartered in Lake Oswego, Ore., is a leading supplier of transportation equipment and services to the railroad industry.  Greenbrier builds new railroad freight cars in its four manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Mexico and marine barges at its U.S. facility.  It also repairs and refurbishes freight cars and provides wheels and railcar parts at 35 locations across North America.  Greenbrier builds new railroad freight cars and refurbishes freight cars for the European market through both its operations in Poland and various subcontractor facilities throughout Europe. Greenbrier owns approximately 8,300 railcars, and performs management services for approximately 231,000 railcars.

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