ENAP and SAAM team up on Chile’s first electric tugboat

Empresa Nacional del Petróleo (ENAP) and SAAM, through its tugboat division SAAM Towage, have signed a service agreement that will make Chile the first country in Latin America with an electric, emission-free tugboat.


As informed, the vessel will operate in Puerto Chacabuco, Aysén region. It will provide GHG emissions-free berthing and unberthing services for vessels and significantly reduce environmental and underwater noise, according to the companies.

The new tug is expected to begin operating in Chile within the next 18 months.    

“ENAP’s access to this service, which is unprecedented in Latin America, will allow it to reduce operating emissions, which supports Chile’s commitment to move towards carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier,” Chile’s Minister of Energy Diego Pardow remarked.

“Implementing this new technology in our processes supports our company’s goal of being more sustainable every day and advancing towards decarbonization. This milestone is in addition to the LNG-powered trucking services we contracted last year and aligns with our dedication, as a state-owned company, to undertaking extensive public-private efforts to transition as a society to different types of energy,” ENAP Chief Executive Officer Julio Friedmann commented.

“We share a vision for advancing sustainability. This service agreement is crucial to addressing the shared challenge of climate change through concrete emissions-reduction actions. SAAM aspires to become a global leader in the tugboat industry,” SAAM Chief Executive Officer Macario Valdés highlighted.

“This type of pioneering technology provides innovative solutions for our customers and enables us to continue providing safe, efficient services as we move towards more sustainable operations.”

In November last year, the first electric tugs in SAAM Towage’s fleet, built by the Turkish shipyard Sanmar, passed the final sea acceptance trials and bollard pull tests in Istanbul’s Tuzla Bay. At full capacity, the new ElectRA 2300SX units, designed by Canada-based Robert Allan, are expected to reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2,400 tons. 

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