• 2024 April 23 16:54

    Vancouver welcomes its first resident battery electric tugs

    Ceremonies and celebrations were recently held in Vancouver harbour for a pair of ElectRA 2300-SX battery electric tugs designed by Robert Allan Ltd. and built by Türkiye’s Sanmar Shipyards. Both tugs are owned and operated by SAAM Towage Canada and represent major milestones in the Port of Vancouver’s goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable, as well as SAAM Towage’s leadership in the drive to the decarbonization of harbour operations, according to Robert Allan's release.

    The close collaboration between Robert Allan Ltd, Sanmar Shipyards, and SAAM Towage was key to yielding a tug pair. With compact 23 metre lengths and outstanding manoeuvrability, they are suited for operations between the tight “finger piers” where many ships are docked in Vancouver. They are also ideal for ship-berthing and unberthing work at Neptune terminals in Vancouver where their environmental credentials were instrumental in winning them a contract to provide towage services.

    After surveying SAAM’s local Tug Masters, Robert Allan Ltd. embarked on a series of live trials to quantify handling characteristics that these captains identified as most favourable.

    Predictions of the performance of the new tugs were made using a proprietary CFD-based manoeuvring tool which was validated using the earlier trials. Using this tool, it was possible to establish that the new design, for which underwater features were customized to suit the desired performance, should indeed deliver the specific manoeuvring characteristics that SAAM’s crews had identified as being optimal. The tool was also used to check that directional stability would be on par with expectations. Part of the magic of these tugs is in how this is achieved while also yielding their tremendous manoeuvrability. Hull design is critical to the goal, and one of the other keys is a relatively minimalistic and strategically shaped single skeg that has low drag in all directions, and the benefit of reduced energy consumption in transit.

    Sea trials proved that the efforts were a major success. Handling, performance, and manoeuvring characteristics were exactly what had been hoped for, and SAAM was delighted with the results. There is perhaps no greater endorsement of the how these tugs perform than SAAM’s decision very shortly thereafter to order a new ElectRA 2500-SX design (also from Sanmar Shipyards) to operate in Chile. The only caveat was that the existing 25 metre design be updated to have a geometrically similar underwater hull and appendages to the 23 metre tugs that they like so much! That work is underway, with delivery of the ElectRA 2500-SX expected in 2025.

    The electrical system is powered by a battery installation. Featuring 3,616 kWh of lithium-ion batteries, these tugs pack significant onboard energy storage. That capacity translates into the ability for these relatively high-usage harbour tugs to perform their missions on battery power alone. With charging from the local hydroelectric power grid in as little as one to two hours, these tugs can quickly get out to the next job and accommodate a busy schedule.

    Each of these tugs are expected to reduce emissions by over 1,200 tonnes of CO2 per year from tank-to-wake (and even more from well-to-wake) compared to diesel counterparts. Emissions of NOX, SOX, CO, and particulate matter will all be zero as well when operating on their generous battery banks. The reductions for the tug pair are on par with removing over 600 cars off the road.

    Sanmar Shipyards is already nearing completion of a third tug for their own towing fleet. Featuring an FFV1 (2,400 m3/hour) off-ship fire-fighting system, yet another custom skeg for escort, and a battery capacity tuned to their individual needs, Dinamo 2023 as it is named, is only the next iteration in what stands to be a popular series of compact battery electric tugs.




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2024 May 27

18:02 QatarEnergy announces FID in the second development phase for Brazil’s Sépia field
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15:26 Wind propulsion systems to be installed on 7 vessels operated by MOL Drybulk
14:55 ASCO commissioned the first Handysize class vessel
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2024 May 26

15:16 Fincantieri is awarded contract from the US Navy for the fifth and sixth Constellation-class frigates
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2024 May 25

15:33 Bahri could be buyer of four VLCCs with $480 million
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2024 May 24

18:00 MSC resumes Far East – Baltimore service
17:22 First LNG tugboat with hybrid system goes into operation in Singapore with mtu gas engines from Rolls-Royce
16:47 S. Korea slaps sanctions on 7 N. Koreans, 2 Russian ships for illegal trade with Russia
16:24 COSCO Shipping plans to build 120 ships worth $4.5 billion
15:46 LR award AiP to CMB.TECH and Damen for hydrogen tug solution
13:51 Kongsberg Maritime opens a new facility in Kochi, India
13:11 Wind Challenger to be installed on coal carrier for J-Power
12:41 India, Egypt top destinations for Russian seaborne fuel oil, VGO exports in April
12:21 Newbuilding contracts signed by Greek shipowners are up more than 50% this year to March
11:40 The port of Piraeus receives permission to continue dredging from the State Council
11:05 Eastern Shipbuilding Group awarded contract to construct Fisher Island Ferry
10:49 Huangpu Wenchong receives contract for up to eight methanol-fuelled bulkers
10:28 Cadeler signs installation vessel reservation agreement for upcoming wind farm installation projects
09:58 ScanOcean launches renewable biodiesel fuel
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2024 May 23

18:00 Cadeler places order to build its third A-class vessel
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17:12 The fire engulfed approximately 600 square meters of metal waste on industrial premises at the port of Hamburg
16:57 Hapag-Lloyd resumes CGX service between China, West Africa and Germany
16:38 The world's first methanol-powered container ship now on weekly service to the Port of Gothenburg
15:32 Inmarsat launches combined VSAT, LEO and LTE managed connectivity service
14:52 Dominican Republic, Oman and Saudi Arabia join the International Transport Forum
14:21 Canada’s TMX pipeline expansion to boost Asian crude oil trade
13:44 Norwegian Cruise Line expands its presence across Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand with over 30 new itineraries
13:21 Canadian Coast Guard issues $15,000 fine for a hazardous vessel
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11:03 Hapag-Lloyd upgrades sea shuttle service between Ukraine and Romania
10:30 Japanese companies complete the early stages of a cross-industry project to create a secure data exchange system between shipyards and shipowners
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09:25 NatPower Marine and Peel Ports Group announce plans for first ‘green shipping corridor’ between UK and Ireland

2024 May 22

18:01 Sea-Intelligence: Avg. minimum transit time up 39% on Asia-MED
17:46 Kongsberg Maritime announces energy-efficient upgrade for Solstad’s Normand Sentinel
17:23 FMC launches investigation of the impact of Canadian regulations on U.S.-flag carriers
16:59 Dataloy Systems launches groundbreaking widgets at Breakbulk Rotterdam
15:34 Pyxis Tankers announces JV agreement to acquire modern dry-bulk vessel
15:32 Vympel unveils two concepts of a universal dry bulk / container carrier of Project 00111 Belomorets
14:25 LR awards Approval in Principle to Seaspan Corporation for next generation feeder ship design
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13:22 HD Hyundai Marine Solution builds ship smartcare center in Busan
12:42 BBC Chartering takes delivery of first “LakerMax” newbuilding, MV BBC LEER
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