Crowley and SEACOR Holdings, through its subsidiary Seabulk, will create a new joint venture that will combine their liquid energy and chemical transportation vessels, operations and related services into a new, independent U.S. Jones Act service provider.

The new company, Fairwater Holdings, will serve the U.S. domestic market with vessels and marine transportation solutions across the petroleum and chemical trades, as well as related third-party ship management services. It will include 20 oceangoing, articulated tug-barges and 11 tankers, many under long-term charter.

The joint venture will provide crewing and technical management for an additional 21 third-party owned vessels.

Daniel Thorogood, chief executive of Seabulk, will assume the CEO role of Fairwater at closing.

The joint venture will be based in Fort Lauderdale with offices in Fairfield, Conn.; Houston, Jacksonville and Seattle.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024 and begin operations after regulatory approval and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

“Fairwater marks an important milestone in meeting the evolving needs for safe, efficient and sustainable U.S. domestic maritime transportation solutions,” said Thorogood. “I am honored to take the helm alongside highly experienced seagoing and shoreside team members and provide our customers and the communities we serve with a maritime transportation provider whose values and performance will set the industry standard.”

Crowley’s chairman and CEO, Tom Crowley, said through this new joint venture, Fairwater will create more value for customers, as Seabulk is a complementary partner with expertise in safe, sustainable, and reliable maritime results and innovation, similar to Crowley.

“The new company will not only be a historic moment for Crowley and SEACOR, but it will also align with our continuing growth strategy with solutions for customers and partners that deliver clear benefits for today and promise to advance tomorrow”, Crowley said.

“Fairwater provides an exciting path for continued growth and investment benefiting our exceptional talent pool, our customers and this essential industry at large,” added Eric Fabrikant, chief executive of SEACOR. “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Tom and the entire Crowley organization and look forward to jointly supporting this new venture ensuring seamless service during this transitional time and beyond.”