A Seacor subsidiary is investing in green tugboats to boost US harbour towage services
Seabulk Towing Holdings has ordered four harbour tugs from Alabama-based Master Boat Builders Inc with hybrid propulsion and space for energy storage systems to be installed in the future.
These powerful tugs were ordered in response to US port expansion and larger container ships using the nation’s terminals. Delivery is scheduled in H2 2021 and 2022.
“This order highlights Seabulk’s ongoing commitment to support growth in our core markets and provide the best available equipment to serve our customers’ developing demands,” said Seabulk president Daniel Thorogood.
“These tugs represent the latest in technological innovation and showcase our responsiveness to structural and environmental stewardship changes in the shipping sector,” he added.
All four of these tugs will have the latest in hull design and propulsion and bollard pulls of around 80 tonnes, which is sufficient for manoeuvring the latest ultra-large container ships being built in Asia.
Two of the newbuilds will be advanced Rotortugs and will augment Seabulk’s existing fleet of Rotortugs introduced from 2017.
The other two will be azimuth stern drive newbuilds with diesel mechanical and electric motor propulsion systems.
All four vessels will have hybrid propulsion and arrangements to allow for the future installation of batteries. This will enable Seabulk to provide greener solutions to meet its customers’ requests.
These tugs will operate alongside Seabulk’s existing harbour fleet in the US Gulf of Mexico and the US East Coast.
There has been a revival in US tugboat building as owners expand their fleets to meet rising harbour and inland towage demand.
Seabulk operates a fleet of 27 vessels. It provides towage services in seven ports in the US Gulf and Florida coastal ports, and provides offshore towing for short- and long-term project requirements.
Seabulk is also a partner in Kotug SeaBulk Maritime Services, which provides towage services to ships in the Buckeye Bahamas Hub Terminal on Grand Bahama island.