KETCHIKAN (KDN) — Crowley Maritime Corp. earlier this month launched and christened the Qamun, a double-hulled petroleum barge "specifically designed for the Alaska fuels market," the Jacksonville, Florida company wrote in an press release.

The 350-foot barge, built by Greenbrier Marine, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenbrier Companies Inc., is half of the Crowley project to build a new articulated tug-barge, Crowley wrote in its March 8 release.

The Qamun's partner tug, the Aurora, has been launched and is nearly complete at Master Boat Builders Inc. in Coden, Alabama. The Aurora is expected to be delivered to Crowley in April.

"The ATB was specifically designed to meet Ice Class and Polar Code requirements to operate safely and effectively in Western Alaska year-round," the release stated. "It features protections for the environment using energy efficient, lower emission engines and a first-of-its-kind lightering helmet to support safe and fast load rates. Its shallow draft will meet the needs of Western Alaska, which depends on maneuverable and functional vessels for reliable supplying."

With capacity for 55,000 barrels of fuel, the Qamun has the smallest fuel capacity of Crowley's articulated tug-barge fleet. (Crowley's next-smallest ATB, per the company website, has a 100,000 barrel capacity.)

Representatives from the Greenbrier Marine and Crowley Fuels LLC convened for a small private launch for the barge at the Greenbrier Marine ship construction facility in Portland, Oregon, according to the release.

"All attendees participated in a short, socially distanced christening ceremony on the barge deck and rode the barge into the water as it was launched," the release stated.

Natalie Meidel, the wife of Crowley Fuels Alaska Vice President and General Manager Rick Meidel, sponsored and christened the new vessel.

"We congratulate the men and women at Greenbrier and our company for reaching this milestone toward this innovative barge, said Rick Meidel in a prepared statement. "The Qamun, paired with Aurora, will bring a new generation of cost-efficient, sustainable service for Alaskan communities and business customers."

In January, Petro Marine Services, a subsidiary of Petro 49 Inc, announced that it would be acquiring Crowley Fuels' businesses in Ketchikan and Juneau by mid-February.