Great Lakes Towing christens third Damen-designed tug in series

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Michigan was christened by vessel sponsor, Carolyn Watkins, Chief, Office of Environmental Education and Administrator, Diesel Emission Reduction Programs for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

The Great Lakes Towing Company celebrated its 120th Anniversary with the christening of its newest tugboat, the Michigan.

The newly constructed tug is the third in a series of five, 64-foot Damen 1907 ICE design harbor tugs that sister company Great Lakes Shipyard is building for the towing company’s operation.

FLEXADRIVE HYBRID

The 64’x24’x11’ tug is 64’x24’x11’, powered by two 1,000-hp MTU 8V4000 Tier III diesel engines, and generates over 30-tons of bollard pull. Its propulsion system includes the Logan FlexaDrive hybrid power system, allowing the tug to operate on electric power while at idle, underway at low speeds, or when under low loads, without the need to utilize the main engines, reducing emissions and the cost of engine maintenance. The tug’s compact size and high maneuverability make it ideal for the narrow waterways and low bridges that characterize harbor towing on the Great Lakes.

The GreatLakes Towing Company was incorporated on July 7, 1899 and now operatesthe largest U.S.-flag tugboat fleet on the Great Lakes, the Towing Company provides harbor assist and towing services to both domestic and foreign-flag vessels in more than 40 U.S. Great Lakes ports.

EPA EMISSIONS REDUCTION FUNDING

The Michigan was christened by vessel sponsor, Carolyn Watkins, Chief, Office of Environmental Education and Administrator, Diesel Emission Reduction Programs for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Watkins was instrumental in helping the company secure funding assistance through the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant (DERG) program for the fleet’s new construction program.

“The new tugs demonstrate our commitment to the shipping industry on the Great Lakes and to our customers. It is our mission to provide the highest level of service to the vessels and companies we work for. The new tugs will allow us to continue to do just that…but even better: cleaner, safer, and even more dependable,” said company president Joe Starck.

The tugs Cleveland and Ohio were the first new tugs built in the series as part of the company’s fleet renewal program. The fourth, Pennsylvania, will be completed late this year. The fifth tug, not yet named, is slated for a Spring 2020 completion. Additional follow-on tugs of the same design are available for purchase by third parties.

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