A new class of tug for a major US-based owner is being constructed at a US shipyard to enhance ship manoeuvring on the west coast
A new class of tug for a major US-based owner is being constructed at a US shipyard to enhance ship manoeuvring on the west coast.
Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) has begun building the first of four azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugboats at its shipyard in Freeland, US, for Foss Maritime. These are ASD 90 tractor tugs complying with US Environmental Protection Agency Tier 4 emission requirements.
The shipyard laid and welded the keel for the first of these tugs during a ceremony on 25 February. This will be a new class of ASD 90 tugboats for Foss’ operations on the US west coast, where they will perform ship-handling duties within ports and harbours which have seen the arrival of larger container ships.
Delivery of the first four vessels will begin in Q4 2020, and will continue into 2021.
Foss and NBBB also have options to build another six of these tugboats from 2022 onwards. Keel laying of the first ASD 90 tugboat also marks the implementation of a new production line at NBBB, which the shipyard expects will improve efficiencies to meet the accelerated four-boat order.
These ASD 90 tugboats were designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants, based on the Valor tugboat design. The vessels will be equipped with two MTU series 4000 main engines, Rolls-Royce US255 azimuth thrusters and Markey winches. The vessels will also include condition-based monitoring for the Z-drives and main engines.
Foss Maritime switched its newbuilding strategy by contracting NBBB to build this series of tugs. When the decision was announced in Q4 2018, it was a U-turn for the North American tug owner as it announced its plans to build 10 tugs at its own shipyard to Damen design in 2017.
Instead Foss cancelled its agreement with Damen and closed its shipyard in Rainier on the Columbia River. It then chose Jensen Maritime’s design for these ASD 90 tugboats.
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Low emissions’ regulations in the US will be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s Americas Sukphur Cap 2020 Conference in Houston, Texas, on 5-6 March