CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (WOWK) – It’s a maritime tradition, christening a boat before its first voyage. Marathon Petroleum owns a network of refineries all over the United States and several of those refineries are dependent on inland waterway transportation. On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, three brand new members of the transportation joined the ranks.

The addition of the Kenova, the Mt. Vernon, and the Patoka, each named for Marathon terminals, or cities where they have terminals, means jobs. Approximately 50 new jobs came along with these new towboats.

David Earl is Manager of Operation for Marathon and he says the christening ceremony isn’t just to welcome the boat, but to also give well-wishes to the crews aboard.

“We really do it to celebrate the hard work, and the men and women that crew these vessels that move America’s energy up and down the river every day,” Earl said. “Inland river towing is by far the most environmentally friendly and safest way to move commodities in this country.”

The addition of the new towboats brings Marathon’s fleet up to 23 and they carry anything from crude oil to gasoline, even asphalt. Todd Sandifer is the Manager of Marine Transportation for Marathon he says they products they make are taken along the Mississippi, Ohio, and Cumberland rivers.

“Our vessels go anywhere from Northern Ohio River, Pittsburgh, all the way down to New Orleans,” Sandifer said.

The company makes about three million barrels of crude oil each day and the vessels you see are how many of us get the fuel that powers our cars. The barges pushed by the towboats carry up to 7.5 million gallons of the finished product up and down the rivers every day.

New fleet members, new crew members, and a maritime tradition that recognizes the new voyages ahead in the world of energy.