Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, the Vancouver-based marine transportation business, is adding three towboats to its fleet of 16 vessels and 160 barges as part of its larger effort to move cargo along the Columbia and Snake rivers.
“As each new tug is added to our fleet, we anticipate retiring older vessels,” Bruce Reed, Tidewater’s vice president and chief operations officer, said in an email to The Columbian this week.
The company said it will soon launch the first of the three new towboats, Crown Point, and that the other two — the Granite Point and Ryan Point vessels — will follow soon afterward.
“The vessels will strengthen our fleet, as well as reinforce Tidewater’s commitment to our customers, community and environment,” Marc Schwartz, maintenance and engineering manager for the company, said in a news release.
The company said it selected Portland-based Vigor Industrial to build the three new towboats. Tidewater declined to say how much the new vessels cost. Reed described the company’s investment in the ships as “significant.”
The company said the Crown Point vessel was designed and built to run with improved fuel efficiency and to reduce air emissions. The boat also features sound and vibration controls, the company said, which keeps noise levels at less than 60 decibels.
Tidewater traces its history to the early 1930s. In December 2012, the company announced a partnership with a new equity investor, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a New York-based investment firm.
In a February 2013 profile of the company by The Columbian, officials said Tidewater hauls everything from refined petroleum products, ethanol and grain to fertilizer, paper products and solid waste. The 2013 story pegged the company’s revenue somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million annually.
In June 2013, the company announced that Bob Curcio, previously a senior vice president for GE Oil & Gas, had been appointed as its new president and CEO. Curcio succeeded Dennis McVicker, who served as Tidewater’s CEO since 2005.
The company moves cargo among a network of ports, terminals and grain elevators along the Columbia and Snake rivers, which spans 465 miles from the Pacific Ocean, at the mouth of the Columbia River, inland to Lewiston, Idaho.