ACP starts commissioning new tugboat series

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pantugCalovebora, the first in a series of thirteen Z-Tech tugboats built for ACP (the Panama Canal Authority) by Cheoy Lee Shipyards of Hong Kong is now in Panama.

The 26-engine order for the tugs’ twin 12-cylinder V228 engine installations is the largest in the history of GE Marine. The sale of the engines through GE’s engine distributor Marinsa was finalized in October 2008.

Though the new Z-Tech tugs are almost identical in configuration to eight vessels previously constructed for ACP by Cheoy Lee, their GE diesels are larger. The 2,965 hp, 12V228 engines increase bollard pull capabilities to 65 tonnes, from 60 tonnes previously, in both ahead and astern directions.

Principal Dimensions: 27.40 m LOA x 11.50 m beam x 5.83 m draft.

The GE engines drive two Schottel SRP1515FP azimuth rudder propellers containing 2.6 m diameter 4-bladed fixed pitch propellers. The configuration provides a free running speed of 12.5 knots, both ahead and astern. Two Caterpillar C4.4, 99 kW diesel generating sets maintain all onboard electrical loads, while the starboard side main engine drives the FFS 1,136 cu.m/hr fire pump that supplies the fire monitor mounted on the wheelhouse top.

Two towing winches and the capstan are from MacGregor Plimsoll .

Z-Tech series tugs are typically operated by a captain and crew of eight, although accommodation arrangements vary slightly, depending on operator preferences. Calovebora provides accommodations for a crew of four. There is a two man crew cabin on the lower deck as well a single officer cabin and engineers cabin/office on the main deck, along with the galley and dinette. The wheelhouse above has 360 degree visibility through full height glazing all-round.

Cheoy Lee Z-Tech 6500 tugs for Panama are built to Lloyds Register of Shipping class.

Calovebora has the class notation LR +100AN Tug, +LMC UMS for service in the Panama Canal and approaches.

In October, ACP celebrated the transit of the one millionth vessel through the Canal since its inauguration in 1914, and the new tugboats will be used to continue to transport tankers and barges through the Canal safely and efficiently.

“GE is proud to partner with ACP, Cheoy Lee and Marinsa on this exciting project that will facilitate even smoother traffic through one of the world’s engineering marvels,” said John Manison, Business Leader of GE Marine.

“Cheoy Lee has been building sea vessels of all kinds for more than a century,” said Ken Lo, Director of Cheoy Lee. “This effort is yet another example of how the business has stayed at the forefront of the marine industry, and we look forward to working with ACP and GE in the future.”

GE’s V228 engines are high-compression, four-stroke, medium-speed, turbocharged, electronically fuel injected, class-approved engines designed and built for rigorous marine applications. With rugged construction and quality-assured parts, V228 engines are capable of operating cost-effectively for more than 20 years.

The engines are being built in GE’s engine manufacturing facility in Grove City, Pennsylvania.

November 17, 2010

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