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August 28, 2002

$14 million Title XI application for barge series

As part of a plan to "significantly grow" its fleet, Cashman Equipment Corp. filed an application on Aug. 19 with the U.S. Maritime Administration for a Title XI ship loan guarantee of $14,076,923 covering the construction of 29 steel offshore and inland steel barges.

According to Cashman Equipment's senior vice president Dick Zellen, is in the midst of a three-phase newbuilding plan. Under Phase I, says Zellen, Cashman Equipment built two 180 ft offshore barges at SENESCO, North Kingstown, R.I. "We've now signed contracts to build ten barges under Phase II of our plans."

Under Phase II, Cashman has inked deals to build:

(2) 140 ft x 48 ft x 7 ft and (2) 120 ft x 55 ft x 7 inland heavy haul and marine construction barges at HBC Barge LLC, Brownsville, Pa.;

(2) 135 135 ft x 55 ft x 7 ft barges at Cove Fleeting, Morgan City, La., and;

(2) 140 ft x 48 ft x 9 ft and (2) 150 ft x 55 ft x 9 ft offshore barges at Tidewater Skansa, Inc., Chesapeake, Va.

"We'll go ahead with our Phase II construction plans regardless of the outcome of our Title XI application," says Zellen. However, Zellen says Phase III, which will add 17 new barges to Cashman Equipment's fleet, will depend on the approval of Cashman's Title XI application.

Cashman Equipment, headquartered in Boston, is a specialist in heavy and marine construction and owns a fleet of offshore and inland barges. From 1998 to 2000, Cashman Equipment's inland barge fleet has grown by 70% through a series of acquisitions and newbuilds.

The four-barge contract is particularly significant for privately held HBC Barge, LLC, which is located at the former facility owned by Trinity Marine. Trinity had shuttered the yard in 1995 due to a downturn in barge building. In Jan. 1998, it was acquired by Wilhelm & Kruse from Trinity and operated as Hiller Barge Company. A group led by Gabriel Centofanti acquired the assets of Hiller Barge Co. in April 2002 after Wilhelm & Kruse filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

HBC Barge can build barges as long as 240 ft and as wide as 38 ft, with depths from 11 to 14 ft, inside its building shed. HBC Barge also has a 1,000-ton capacity side haul marine railway for barges up to 325 ft x 56 ft

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