Kotug Canada orders two powerful methanol-fueled escort tugs

Written by Nick Blenkey
methanol-fueled escort tug

The methanol dual-fueled tugs will deliver over 115 tonnes of bollard pull, making them Canada’s most powerful escort tugs. [Image: Robert Allan Ltd.]

Kotug Canada has selected Turkey’s Sanmar Shipyards to build two Robert Allan Ltd. designed dual fuel methanol-fueled escort tugs. They will service the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP), which extends the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the Pacific. The the two RAsalvor 4400-DFM tugs will escort vessels from the harbor limits of the Port of Vancouver to the open ocean through the commercial shipping lanes of the Salish Sea. To provide this service, Kotug Canada has partnered with Sc’ianew First Nation from Beecher Bay, which is strategically located along the shipping route.

The tugs are set to be the world’s first large purpose-built high bollard pull methanol fueled tugs when they enter service in 2025 and will provide significant environmental benefits to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and underwater radiated noise.

Kotug operates over a dozen Robert Allan Ltd. designed high bollard pull harbor and offshore ASD and Advanced Rotortug (ART) vessels internationally.

“We are pleased to work again with Robert Allan Ltd. and look forward to our long-awaited cooperation with Sanmar, which is one of the leading tugboat builders in the world,” said Ard-Jan Kooren, president & CEO of Kotug International and executive director of Kotug Canada, a partnership between Kotug International BV and Canada’s Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. “I am proud that we continue our active green policy to provide sustainable towage services by building and operating two powerful high bollard pull methanol fuelled escort tugs

“The RAsalvor 4400-DFM has been customized to meet the demanding operational and environmental requirements for this project,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, president & CEO of Robert Allan Ltd. “As a company based in Vancouver where these vessels will be operating, we are keenly aware of the crucial role these escort tugs will play going forward.”

Quarter stern view of methanol-fueled escort tug
Image: Robert Allan Ltd.

The methanol-fueled escort tugs will each measure 44 meters in length and, with over 115 tonnes of bollard pull, will be Canada’s most powerful escort tugs.

Both vessels will be equipped with a mechanical cross link system between the azimuth thrusters to enable a single engine to drive both propellers. They will also be equipped with main engine driven shaft generators to meet the vessel’s normal electrical needs. These features will allow the crews to optimize engine loading and significantly reduce fuel consumption and running hours of the main engines and gensets. Combined, these features will reduce the tugs underwater radiated noise, mitigating the effects of shipping on the Salish Sea’s Southern Resident Killer Whales. Additionally, Kotug is having the hulls of both tugs coated with a graphene paint to reduce biofouling and enhance hull-smoothness which reduces underwater radiated noise and makes the vessels more fuel efficient. The escort tugs are equipped with firefighting equipment meeting the requirements of ABS’s FFV 1 notation. They will have the largest spill response capabilities of any tugs on the BC coast to mitigate the risk of marine spills to the Salish Sea and communities from laden tankers as well as other commercial marine traffic.

Onboard equipment will include heavy duty electric winches fitted fore and aft for reduced noise and to significantly reduce the risk of a hydraulic oil spill into the environment. The forward escort system has been customized to suit the requirements of the local pilots for tankers utilizing the TMEP. The aft towing system with a dual drum winch with 2 x 1,000 meters of steel wire is among the largest fitted to an escort tug and combined with the vessel’s exceptional maneuverability provides the capability to perform emergency towage of vessels along the route that may find themselves in distress.

Inside, the accommodations will include spacious dedicated cabins and ensuites for all regular crew, all with natural light, and well in excess of regulatory standards. To facilitate training and additional response capability, extra berths will be provided for use by Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) spill response technicians. Particular attention has been paid to minimizing noise and vibration aboard the vessels, with a crew comfort (habitability) class notation to be assigned by ABS along with ENVIRO and SUSTAIN notations demonstrating the project’s reduced environmental impact.

Categories: Coastal, News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,