NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 31, 2011 – During a ceremony on the banks of the Mississippi River today, AEP River Operations dedicated the M/V Michael G. Morris towboat in honor of American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael G. Morris.
“It truly is an honor to receive this recognition and to see such a beautiful vessel bearing your name,” Morris said. “Our river operations are a strategic part of our company, and I am in awe of the employees who work safely and reliably on the waterways each day to efficiently transport bulk commodities and deliver fuel to AEP’s power plants.”
The M/V Michael G. Morris will be run by nine crew members. The 8,000-horsepower towboat is 180 feet long and 48 feet wide and was built by Quality Shipyards in Houma, La. It will operate on the lower Mississippi River between St. Louis and Convent, La., with the ability to tow 35 loaded barges southbound and 42 empty barges northbound on the river. The boat will haul coal, steel, grain, ore and other bulk materials.
“Mike has made tremendous contributions to the utility industry and has supported the growth of our river transportation business,” said Keith Darling, president of AEP River Operations. “His commitment to AEP and his dedication to the success of the entire organization, including River Operations, is unparalleled.”
AEP River Operations includes a fleet of 3,275 barges and 94 towboats, a full-service shipyard and six barge repair and cleaning facilities. Headquartered in Chesterfield, Mo., AEP River Operations is one of the largest dry-bulk barge companies on the inland waterways, transporting 77 million tons of commodities each year.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.