Sanmar Shipyards has won a contract to build a fleet of green-fuel and electric-powered tugs for an LNG export project in Canada
It will construct two battery-powered harbour tugs and three dual-fuel escort tugs for ship-assist and escort towing services at the LNG Canada export facility in Kitimat, east of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. This LNG production and export plant, the largest private sector investment in Canadian history, is under construction and scheduled to open in 2023.
These five tugs have been ordered by HaiSea Marine Services, a joint venture between the Haisla First Nation and Atlas Corp subsidiary Seaspan, to support the LNG export terminal. To minimise the environmental impact, HaiSea Marine has ordered newbuildings with electric power and dual-fuel engines, burning LNG and diesel.
Sanmar will build these tugboats in Turkey to Robert Allan’s designs for harbour and escort tugs, with an option to order a sixth tug if required.
The harbour tugs will be constructed at Sanmar’s Altinova shipyard to a new design, ElectRA 2800. These 28-m tugs will have a bollard pull of 70 tonnes and batteries with capacity of 6,102 kWh. Designed for ship docking and unberthing missions on battery power, they will recharge from dedicated shore charging facilities supplied from clean hydroelectric power at their berths between jobs, effectively resulting in zero emissions when running on batteries.
Robert Allan said the escort tugs will be built to its RAstar 4000-DF design, similar to the LNG-fuelled tugs operating at Equinor’s Hammerfest LNG production and export facilities in northern Norway. Those three tugs are operated by Østensjø Rederi and classed by Bureau Veritas.
The dual-fuel escort tugs for HaiSea Marine will have an overall length of 40 m and bollard pull of 100 tonnes.
“These will not only be the west coast of Canada’s most powerful escort tugs in terms of sheer power,” said Robert Allan, “but also be among the most high-performance escort tugs in the world with the ability to generate indirect forces in escort of 200 tonnes.”
To reduce emissions further, Sanmar will install equipment to remove NOx from the engine exhaust when burning diesel and exhaust after-treatment systems in full compliance with IMO Tier III emissions standards.
Robert Allan said these tugs would conduct regular escort missions using LNG as fuel throughout the 159 nautical mile escort route from Kitimat to the pilot station near Triple Island, British Columbia.
"Both the dual-fuel escort tugs and the battery-electric shiphandling tugs will set the gold standard for reduced emissions tugboats for the next decade," said Robert Allan president and chief executive Mike Fitzpatrick.
These green investments will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 10,000 tonnes per year compared to diesel-powered alternatives and reduce NOx, SOx, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
The five tugs are designed to meet environmental notation ABS Enviro for zero-discharge of any waste and will be equipped with fire-fighting systems with 2,400 m3/hr capability, in accordance with ABS’ FFV1 notation. They will provide pollution response, with significant recovered oil tankage, and emergency towage of vessels with an aft towing system. Escort tugs will be equipped with electric hawser winches.
“We are very excited that HaiSea Marine has chosen Sanmar to build and deliver the three technologically advanced dual-fuel escort tugs and two battery-powered harbour tugs that will serve LNG Canada’s new export facility in Kitimat," said Sanmar vice president Ali Gurun.
"The five vessels, including the option for a sixth, will be among the world’s most technologically advanced tugs ever built as a fleet."
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