After a voyage that has lasted nearly four weeks, the tug and barge carrying the first four Cianbro refinery modules to leave the Eastern Manufacturing Facility in Brewer, Maine, are scheduled to arrive at their destination in Texas on Tuesday, April 21. The vessels and their cargo are expected to arrive at Motiva's Port Arthur refinery at noon. The last ten miles of the voyage will take the modules from the Gulf of Mexico, up the Sabine River to the refinery.
It'll take approximately four days for crews to off-load the modules. The tug will then transfer the barge to a different pier, where two large pieces of refinery equipment will be loaded for the trip back to Maine. The two items are pressure vessels which are too large to transport by land. The massive equipment is used to heat up or cool down liquids in the refining process. The pressure vessels are designed to sit deep within the modules, so planners want them installed in Brewer rather than on site in Texas.
The crew of the ocean going tug, Emma Foss, had to make several lengthy stops during the voyage from Maine, mostly due to weather. A storm forced the vessels to seek shelter in Narragansett Bay on the weekend after leaving Brewer. The next delay occurred as the vessels approached Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Winds gusting to 40 knots off the cape forced the crew to put into port at Norfolk, Virginia. The last unscheduled stop took place at Cape Canaveral, Florida, in response to a medical situation. While the crew sat in port, tornado warnings developed, and the vessels remained at the cape for several days.
Currently, weather conditions are good for Tuesday's arrival.