HaiSea Marine tugboats named at Sanmar Shipyards

Written by Nick Blenkey
HaiSea Marine tugboat named

HaiSea Marine’s five groundbreaking tugs were given names chosen by the Haisla, Gitxaala and Gitga’at Nations.

Turkey’s Sanmar Shipyards last week held naming ceremonies on two consecutive days for five advanced tugboats being built for Canada’s HaiSea Marine. The fleet of three battery-electric harbor tugs and two LNG dual fuel escort tugs — all designed by Robert Allan Ltd — will operate at the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, B.C.

The Kitimat terminal is in the traditional territory of the Haisla Nation, which is the majority owner of HaiSea Marine in partnership with Seaspan ULC, and members of the Haisla Nation joined representatives from Seaspan, HaiSea Marine and LNG Canada for the ceremony at Sanmar Shipyards.

The first ceremony, on March 7, saw the naming of the two LNG-fueled escort tugs at the shipbuilder’s Altinova Shipyard. Based on Robert Allan’s RAstar 4000 DF design, the two azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs were named HaiSea Kermode and HaiSea Warrior by Lisa Grant, Interim Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the Haisla Nation and Haisla Nation Councillor Kevin Stewart.

The 40-meter HaiSea Marine vessels will be Canada’s first LNG-fueled tugs and, with more than 100 tonnes of bollard pull, will generate indirect escort forces of approximately 200 tonnes.

The second ceremony, on March 8, was held at Sanmar’s Tuzla Shipyard and saw the naming of the all electric harbor escort tugs HaiSea Wamis, HaiSea Wee’git and HaiSea Brave, by Crystal Smith, Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation.

At 28.4 meters in length, with 65+ tonnes bollard pull and 6,102 kWh of battery capacity each, the ElectRA 2800 electric harbor tugs will perform all their ship-berthing and unberthing missions on battery power alone. With ample clean hydroelectric power available in Kitimat, the harbor tugs will be able to recharge from dedicated shore charging facilities at their berths between jobs, effectively resulting in zero emissions.

“We are proud to be delivering these vessels on time despite having had serious challenges during and after COVID, with limitations on travel, closed days, limitations on going to work, then a shortage of components,” said Ali Gurun, chairman of Sanmar Shipyards. “Now we have had the earthquake with quite a number of our workers traveling to the quake zone to help and assist family and friends.”

The naming ceremony marks a significant moment for HaiSea Marine as each of the five tug boats were given names chosen by the Haisla, Gitxaala and Gitga’at Nations.

Haisla Nation:

HaiSea Wee’git (Raven). Among the traditional peoples of the Canadian west coast, Wee’git was a character of wide repute, who was well known for getting things done; and big things like bringing light into the world.

HaiSea Wamis. The first settler of Kitamaat who sought sanctuary.

HaiSea Brave. Brave is the name of all the sports teams in Haisla territory and has been emblazoned across Haisla jerseys for decades.

Gitxaala Nation:

HaiSea Warrior. Basketball on the west coast is big and Gitxaala’s basketball team, the (Kitkatla Warriors) is a point of pride and allows Gitxaala to keep a strong connection with their warring past. This name serves to represent every Gitxaala member.

Gitga’at Nation:

HaiSea Kermode. The spirit bear is a traditional representation of the region and territory.

“The collaboration between Seaspan and the Haisla Nation is an exciting and purposeful partnership that will provide dependable and responsible marine services to LNG carriers calling in Kitimat,” said LNG Canada CEO Jason Klein. “Their culture of safety, respect and environmental stewardship is an extension of LNG Canada’s commitment to designing, building and operating our project in consideration of community interests while providing benefits to north coast communities.”

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