As the joint venture partners in SAAM Smit Towage discuss divorce, two strong escort tugs have increased towage capacity in British Columbia
Captains on some of the largest ships arriving at ports and terminals on the Canadian west coast can now have more confidence in the handling capabilities of tugs in that area.
For SAAM Smit Towage (SST) has introduced two escort tugs with more than 80 tonnes of bollard pull and top speeds in excess of 13.5 knots, to operate in British Columbia, Canada.
SST Grizzly and SST Orca were acquired during Q4 2018 and mobilised across the Pacific Ocean to increase SST Canada’s ability to handle ultra large container ships and large tankers in terminals around Vancouver.
These were built by Cheoy Lee Shipyards to a Robert Allan RAstar 3200 design and Lloyd’s Register class. SST Grizzly and SST Orca were unveiled to shipowners at a ceremony at the SST Canada dock in Vancouver in February 2019.
A delegation from COSCO Shipping attended to view the escort tugs that will provide support at a container terminal where COSCO ships will berth.
Both tugs are azimuth stern drive (ASD) types with fire-fighting and emergency support capabilities. ASD propulsion allows these tugs to generate indirect escort forces of 82 tonnes in steering at speeds of 10 knots, and 130 tonnes in braking.
SST Grizzly and SST Orca each have a pair of Cat 3516C main diesel engines, each rated for 2,525 kW at 1,800 rpm
SST Grizzly and SST Orca each have a pair of Cat 3516C main diesel engines, each rated for 2,525 kW at 1,800 rpm. These drive 280-cm diameter controllable pitch Schottel SRP 4000CP Z-drives.
Caterpillar also supplied two Cat C9 generator sets for each tug that each generate 200 kW of electrical power and a smaller C4.4 harbour genset, rated for 51.5 kW.
These drive electric deck machinery including a double split drum electric escort towing winch, supplied by Ibercisa. This has an active haul-in and pay-out constant tension system and data logging to provide information for replacing the 72-mm diameter Amsteel Blue synthetic towlines.
These tugs are also equipped with Ibercisa electric aft towing winches spooled with 600 m of 54-mm diameter steel wire rope towline which can be used for towing distressed vessels to safety if required.
SST Grizzly and SST Orca each have specialised fendering systems designed to minimise contact pressures and folding masts to reduce the risk of steel-to-steel contact when assisting vessels with high flare. They each have a FiFi1 external fire-fighting system with water spray and a 16-m3 foam tank, enabling them to operate as standby vessels at hydrocarbon ship terminals.
The SAAM Smit Towage joint venture is owned by Boskalis and Sociedad Matriz SAAM. In January, they announced SAAM's intention to acquire Boskalis’ equity in the venture for US$201M.
SST Canada is adding another terminal tug, Tsimshian Warrior, to its fleet this year after it is built by Uzmar in Turkey, to support a new LNG export terminal in Canada.
SST Grizzly and SST Orca particulars
Owner: SAAM Smit Towage Canada
Builder: Cheoy Lee Shipyard
Design: Robert Allan RAstar 3200
Class: Lloyd’s Register
Length, oa: 32 m
Beam, moulded: 12.8 m
Hull depth: 5.4 m
Speed: 13.5 knots
Bollard pull: 82 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 193 m3
Fresh water: 35 m3
Port operations will be part of the discussions at LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference Asia, in Singapore, 6-7 June 2019.