Columbus: Ohio-based American Electric Power (AEP) is considering selling off its river barge transportation unit and has hired Morgan Stanley to conduct a review and explore strategic alternatives.
The subsidiary in question, AEP River Operations, is one of the largest inland river barge companies in the US, transporting more than 65 million tons annually, including the movement of grain, project cargo, coal, steel, ores, liquids and other bulk products.
It delivers coal and consumables to AEP’s owned and affiliated power plants on the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. And it serves a wide variety of industries throughout the inland waterway system with primary traffic patterns on the Ohio, Mississippi and Illinois rivers, as well as along the Gulf Coast.
AEP River Operations’ current fleet includes more than 70 towboats ranging between 1,500 and 11,000 horsepower, more than 2,700 dry cargo barges, and a fleet of 10,000-barrel tank barges.
The parent company cautioned there are no assurances that any transaction will occur. For 2014, the unit’s profit accounted for 3% of AEP’s total earnings.