Heavy metal auction -- $60M marine auction slated in Morgan City, Gibson
MORGAN CITY, La. — The largest auction of marine vessels the area has seen is coming to Gibson and Morgan City Wednesday and Thursday, totaling $60 million worth of items, from barges used as living quarters during the BP oil spill response to 300-ton capacity cranes used on barges.
Lloyd Henderson, who is the sales manager at Henderson Auctions based in Livingston, said he has been working on organizing the marine auction for a year talking with friends and people he knows in the area “from doing business down there in Morgan City through the years and the Houma area.”
The marine auction will be the largest Henderson Auctions has put on, Henderson said.
The first day of the auction will be a live auction of support equipment at 6833 Bayou Black Drive at the old Avondale Shipyard facility in Gibson, while the second day will be at the Petroleum Club of Morgan City where barges, vessels and other offsite marine items will be up for auction through a PowerPoint presentation.
More than 100 vessels and barges in addition to the support equipment will be auctioned, according to advertising and marketing manager Jessica Cason.
The viewing days for the auction at the Petroleum Club are today and Tuesday, Henderson said. “People are going to be allowed to go to where the vessels are located and view it, hear it run, or inspect it,” Henderson said.
The items up for bid at the Petroleum Club on Thursday are located at various sites in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama.
Some of the items available at the auction include two 300-ton capacity link belt ringer cranes, a 145-foot aggregate barge and ocean-going twin tugboats, worth about $6 million to $8 million on the open market, and a 350-person and a 250-person living quarters’ barge used during the 2010 BP oil spill response, Henderson said.
Henderson Auctions held a marine auction in California in 1988 that brought in about $5 million to $8 million, but has not held a marine auction near this magnitude, he said.
Henderson said when the company announced they were going to do a marine auction of ships, barges and other vessels, it got a lot of interest because the equipment up for auction was used during storm or oil spill response.
Some individuals bid on the smaller boats, but as for boats or barges 100 feet long or longer, companies almost exclusively bid on those, Henderson said.
Henderson said the state of the economy should help the auction. “If it was a dead economy, then nobody would be looking to buy anything,” Henderson said. “But it is picking up. People are going to be out there ready to buy.”