Oct 18, 2022 | Ship design & naval architecture news

Sanmar Shipyards has joined forces with operator SAAM Towage and naval architect Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) to develop and custom-build two electric-powered tugs for harbour operations, the first of a new generation of environmentally-friendly emissions-free tugboats.

Based on RAL’s exclusive-to-Sanmar ElectRA 2300SX design, the tugboats have already been called the ‘Tug of the Future’ and will have a major impact on cutting emissions in any harbour.

Signing and steel cutting ceremonies for both tugs took place during the recent 26th ITS Convention in Istanbul. With a high level of automation in line with the operator’s needs, the compact electric tug will have a bollard pull of 70 based on a conceptual battery power of 3616kWh.

The three companies worked closely together through every stage of design and construction to ensure that the innovative new tug meets or exceeds exacting specifications. Once delivered in 2023, SAAM Towage is planning to add the sustainably powered and powerful tugs to its Canadian fleet.

Hernan Gomez, MD SAAM Towage, said: “Sanmar has been a great partner for us in recent years and this agreement is the result of that work. Together we are creating a milestone for our company and for Canada, with our first two electric tugs, also accelerating our voyage into sustainability and carbon footprint reduction. This is part of our innovation strategy and the way we want to project SAAM Towage in all the countries where we currently operate and the ones to come”.

RAL offers design of different alternatives of sustainable powering. The ElectRA 2300SX has been designed to accommodate a large battery capacity to achieve a high bollard pull in a flush deck design, with the option to maintain some backup diesel generator capacity.

RAL President Mike Fitzpatrick said: “We are pleased to be working with Sanmar and SAAM to develop a new series of cleaner tugs that will be optimized to meet SAAM’s future operational needs.  Having both the Shipyard and Owner actively participating in the design process right from the beginning of a project is a recipe for success.”

Sanmar has previously signed a co-operation agreement with energy storage systems provider Corvus Energy to jointly explore and establish a path for the future supply and integration of energy supply systems and fuel cell technology for a wide range of innovative and cost-effective electric and hybrid tugs.

Ruchan Civgin, Commercial Director Sanmar Shipyards, said: “This project is a major step forward in the drive to reduce the impact that our industry has on the environment with the development of low and no emission tugs. We have long and successful relationships with both our partners in this project with a wealth of experience we can call on and I am delighted that, with them, Sanmar is leading the way to a sustainable environmentally-aware towage industry.”

Sanmar has delivered seven tugboats to SAAM Towage in the past two years and has excellent long-term relationships with both the operator and RAL.

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