Deal signed for construction of world’s 1st large high bollard pull methanol-fuelled tugs

Towage operator Kotug Canada has selected Türkiye’s Sanmar Shipyards to build two RAsalvor 4400-DFM dual-fuel methanol escort tugs.

Sanmar Shipyards

As informed, the vessels, dubbed the world’s first large purpose-built high bollard pull methanol fuelled tugs, will be designed by ship designer Robert Allan Ltd.

The RAsalvor 4400-DFM escort tugs will measure 44 metres in length and are an evolution of Robert Allan escort tugs which operate in some of the harshest environments in the world. With over 115 tonnes of bollard pull, they’ll be Canada’s most powerful escort tugs, according to Sanmar Shipyards.

Sanmar Shipyards

Both vessels will be equipped with a mechanical cross link system between the azimuth thrusters to enable a single engine to drive both propellers. They will also be equipped with main engine driven shaft generators to satisfy the vessel’s normal electrical needs. These features will allow the crews to optimize engine loading and significantly reduce fuel consumption and running hours of the main engines and gensets. Combined, these features will reduce the tugs underwater radiated noise, mitigating the effects of shipping on the Salish Sea.

Additionally, KOTUG is having the hulls of both tugs coated with a graphene paint to reduce biofouling and enhance hull-smoothness which reduces underwater radiated noise and makes the vessels more fuel efficient.

The escort tugs are equipped with firefighting equipment meeting the requirements of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)’s FFV 1 notation and will have spill response capabilities on the BC coast to mitigate the risk of marine spills to the Salish Sea and communities from laden tankers as well as other commercial marine traffic.

Furthermore, the onboard equipment will include heavy duty electric winches fit fore and aft for reduced noise and to significantly reduce the risk of a hydraulic oil spill into the environment. The forward escort system has been customized to suit the requirements of the local pilots for tankers utilizing the TMEP.

“I am proud that we continue our active green policy to provide sustainable towage services by building and operating two powerful high bollard pull methanol fuelled escort tugs,” said Ard-Jan Kooren, President & CEO of KOTUG International and Executive Director of KOTUG Canada.

“I am honoured to ink the contract of these unique first methanol fuelled new-build tugboats in the world. We have been building over the years the new generation of cleaner and greener tugboats to meet the environmental targets in the maritime industry, this is another very important milestone,” said Ali Gurun, Chairman of Sanmar Shipyards.

The escort tugs, to be named SD AISEMAHT and SD QWII-AAN’C SARAH, are scheduled to enter service in 2025.

These tugs will escort tankers from the harbour limits of the Port of Vancouver to the open Pacific Ocean through the commercial shipping lanes of the Salish Sea. To provide this service, KOTUG Canada has partnered with Sc’ianew First Nation from Beecher Bay, which is strategically located along the shipping route.

To remind, Kotug Canada has recently announced that its dual-fuel methanol escort tugs will be used for Trans Mountain’s expanded operations on Canada’s West Coast. Trans Mountain operates Canada’s oil pipeline, servicing the West Coast of Canada, providing tidewater access to foreign markets for Canada’s petroleum resources.

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