LNG Canada will use electric power and liquefied natural gas (LNG) for ship handling at a new export terminal
It has contracted HaiSea Marine, in partnership with Atlas Corp subsidiary Seaspan, to operate a fleet of harbour and escort tugs with green propulsion at the Kitimat terminal in British Columbia.
This new fleet will be a mixture of battery-powered and low-emissions tugboats to handle gas carriers entering, docking, loading and departing the new LNG terminal to be built at Kitimat, east of Prince Rupert.
LNG Canada said it was working with local First Nations and companies with knowledge of the British Columbian coast to protect the environment and minimise emissions from marine operations at the terminal.
This culminated in a partnership between the Haisla Nation and north Vancouver-based Seaspan ULC to operate the new tugboat fleet. HaiSea Marine will build and operate the escort and harbour tugs when the terminal opens in the middle of this decade.
A joint venture of JGC Corp and Fluor Corp is working as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the multi-train LNG production project.
Being developed at a cost of US$40Bn, LNG Canada will have two trains, with a total production capacity of about 14 mta, with the potential to expand to four trains.
HaiSea Marine will provide ship-assist and escort services to LNG carriers navigating Douglas Channel and approaches in Kitimat Harbour.
The new escort and harbour tugboats are being designed by Vancouver-based naval architects Robert Allan and will feature leading-edge propulsion technology.
Harbour tugs will use battery-electric power to generate a bollard pull of around 70 tonnes and will be built to an ElectRA 2800 tug design with 5,240 kWh of battery capacity. Their primary function will be ship-berthing and unberthing on battery power at the Kitimat terminal.
LNG Canada said these tugs will be charged at berths with clean hydroelectric power generated in the region reducing emissions to near zero and making these tugs “exceptionally quiet, both on board and underwater”.
The escort tugs will be built to Robert Allan’s RAstar 4000 DF design with azimuth stern drive (ASD), dual-fuel engines and LNG fuel tanks. At 40 m in length, these tugs will have more than 95 tonnes of bollard pull.
“They will generate indirect forces of approximately 200 tonnes. These ASD tugs will be equipped with two stern engines capable of generating a 360°, all-directional propulsion force,” said LNG Canada.
RAstar 4000 DF tugs will perform most of their missions using gas as their primary fuel, escorting LNG carriers through the shipping channels in northern British Columbia to the terminal.
The escort tugs will be capable of pollution response, oil spill recovery, fighting marine terminal fires, person overboard response, and emergency vessel towage.
LNG Canada estimates the tug fleet will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10,000 tonnes per year compared to diesel-powered alternatives, with major reductions of nitrogen and sulphur oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter as well.
In addition, all of the new tugs will be equipped with the external fire-fighting capability of pumping 2,400 m3/hr of water.
“Seaspan and the Haisla have hundreds of years of combined experience in these waterways,” said HaiSea senior project manager, Captain Jordan Pechie.
“Our mandate is to operate at the highest level of safety and environmental standards, which will allow this legacy to thrive for generations to come.”
LNG Canada marine superintendent Captain Mark Turner said ordering these electric-powered and LNG-fuelled tugs “represents our commitment to federal and provincial authorities, First Nations, communities and joint-venture partners”.
“The ElectRA 2800 and RAstar 4000 DF tugboats will be a welcome sight in Kitimat Harbour and Douglas Channel,” Capt Turner said. “They demonstrate our operational safety philosophy, environmental stewardship and respect to zero emissions and underwater noise mitigation.”
Shell Canada Energy, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, owns a 40% interest in the Kitimat project, with the remaining interest held by Petronas (25%), PetroChina Kitimat LNG Partnership, a subsidiary of PetroChina Canada Ltd (15%); Diamond LNG Canada Ltd, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation (15%) and Kogas Canada LNG Ltd (5%).
Tug newbuildings and propulsion technology will be discussed during Riviera’s first ITS TUGTECHNOLOGY Webinar Week on 29-31 March – use this link for more details and to register for these webinars