In the Gulf Coast region, Southwest Shipyard LP in Houston is building the 161-foot Amadeo Saenz Jr. for the Texas Department of Transportation. Elliott Bay Design Group designed the vessel, which will carry passengers between Aransas Pass, Texas, and the resort community of Port Aransas. The Amadeo Saenz Jr. is the third in a series of 28-car, 149-passenger ferries operating in Port Aransas. The ferry’s sister vessels, Charles W. Heald and Michael W. Behrens, were delivered in 2011 also from Southwest Shipyard. But unlike its predecessors, Amadeo Saenz Jr.features a gas-electric propulsion system with three Cummins QSK19 generators. Shipyard project manager Travis Bergh said these units will power the propulsion control system designed and built by Electronic Power Designs and also supply ship service power. The ferry will be powered by a 600-hp Marelli electric motor on each end. Each Marelli electric motor will be connected to the shaft line through a Twin Disc gearbox,” Bergh said.