KOTUG lays keel of methanol dual-fuel escort tug duo

KOTUG Canada, a partnership between KOTUG International and Canada’s Horizon Maritime, has held a keel-laying ceremony for two dual-fuel methanol escort tugs that will service the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP).


Laying the keel is a traditional maritime ceremony that signifies the official start of a ship’s construction. This ceremony, which took place on May 8, 2024, signifies a major milestone for the project enabling it to proceed to the construction phase to meet the delivery schedule by mid-2025.

The RAsalvor 4400-DFM dual fuel tugs are designed by ship designer Robert Allan. The steel-cutting ceremony for the vessels took place at Sanmar Shipyard in Türkiye in February this year.

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The vessels, dubbed the first-of-their-kind, are engineered to provide the high bollard pull required for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

The tugs will escort tankers from the harbor 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 the Sc’ianew First Nation from Beecher Bay, strategically located along the shipping route.


“We are thrilled to collaborate on this groundbreaking project that not only transforms the maritime sector but also plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainability in the shipping industry,” Ard-Jan Kooren, President & CEO of KOTUG International stated.

During the keel laying ceremony, we not only marked the beginning of the physical construction of the vessels but also the continuation of an ambitious project that pushes the boundaries of maritime technology and environmental consciousness,” Ali Gürün, Chairman of the Board of Sanmar Shipyards commented.

KOTUG revealed that the two innovative tugs will be named SD AISEMAHT and SD QWII-AAN’C SARAH.

“They will provide significant environmental benefits by further reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and underwater radiated noise,” the company concluded.