Nov 3, 2023 | Shipbuilding & ship repair news

A pair of new generation, environmentally-friendly tugs, based on the ElectRA 2300SX design from naval architect Robert Allan Ltd (RAL), which are the result of close co-operation between RAL, owner SAAM Towage and builder Sanmar at every stage of the project, are now on sea trials before entry into service in Canada.

They were launched in April and September after being completed at Sanmar’s purpose-built shipyards in Türkiye’s maritime sector. With a high level of automation in line with the operator’s needs, the compact electric tugs measuring 23.4m loa, with an 11.9m beam and maximum draught of 5.5m, have recorded bollard pull of 70t based on a battery power of 3616 kWh. The tugs have Schottel SRP460 LE thrusters with 2,700mm diameter propellers, and can achieve a speed ahead of 11.5 knots. Their two CAT C32 back-up gen sets, each producing 940kWe at 1,800 rpm, are IMO Tier III compliant. At full capacity, the new units are expected to save about 2,400t of GHG emissions each year.

Ali Gurun, Chairman, Sanmar Shipyards, said: “It is exciting to see these revolutionary new generation ‘Tugs of the Future’ undergoing sea trials. Emissions-free propulsion is no longer a future aspiration, but a fully viable solution for today’s tug and towing industry. That major operators such as SAAM Towage are well and truly on board and working closely with tug designers and builders to achieve a sustainable low and no-emissions future is great news for our industry and our planet. At Sanmar, we are proud to be leading the way forward through innovation, co-operation and technological advance.”

Hernan Gomez, MD SAAM Towage, said: “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 was made possible thanks to our partnership with Teck & Neptune Terminals that will allow us to have a model that gives us financial and technical viability to our common strategic objective, sustainability”.

ElectRA tugs are available in a range of sizes and power outputs and are the first new generation tugs resulting from Sanmar’s collaboration with RAL and battery energy storage company Corvus Energy to build low and no-emission tugs using alternative fuels and innovative technological advances to protect the environment and build a sustainable towing industry.

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