LNG Canada working on berth facility for HaiSea Marine’s eco-friendly tugboats

The LNG Canada project in the port of Kitimat, a joint venture of Shell, PETRONAS, PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corporation and Korea Gas Corporation, is advancing works at its tug berth facility which will support HaiSea Marine’s new fleet of electric battery-powered and low-emissions tugboats.

Courtesy of LNG Canada

According to the project’s construction update, LNG Canada will begin installing piles at its tug berth facility in the port of Kitimat later this week.

This in-water work is expected to last four to eight weeks, with minimal public impacts expected. While impact hammers may be deployed, the piles will be installed using a vibratory hammer predominantly; these produce significantly less noise than impact hammers. The area will be actively monitored for marine mammals and acoustic levels, LNG Canada said in the update.

The berth facility will support the new electric and low-emissions tugboat fleet operated by HaiSea Marine, a joint venture majority-owned by the Haisla Nation in partnership with Seaspan ULC.

A naming ceremony for this tugboat fleet was held in March this year with representatives from Seaspan, HaiSea Marine and LNG Canada at Sanmar Shipyards in Istanbul, Turkiye.

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To remind, HaiSea Marine was awarded a major contract to build and operate escort and harbour tugs required for LNG Canada’s LNG export facility in Kitimat in 2019. The tugboats will provide ship-assist and escort towing services to LNG carriers calling at the export facility.

Construction of the new fleet of tugboats began in 2021, consisting of two RAstar 4000-DF escort dual fuel (LNG and diesel) tugs and three ElectRA 2800 electric harbour tugs.

In January this year, Sanmar Shipyards undocked the first of two HaiSea Marine’s LNG dual-fuel escort tugs.

Meanwhile, the construction of the Kitimat LNG project is more than 80% complete with the last large module delivered at the beginning of this month.

When completed, the facility will consist of a natural gas receiving and LNG production unit, a marine terminal with the capacity to accommodate two LNG carriers, a tugboat dock, and LNG loading lines. It will also include LNG processing units, storage tanks, a rail yard, a water treatment facility, and flare stacks.

Its production capacity is planned at 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from the first two trains, with the potential to expand to four trains in the future.

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