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SAAM Towage welcomes first electric tugs in Canada

Two SAAM Towage electric tugs arrive in Vancouver on a heavy-lift vessel docked by two conventional tugs

Posted on February 28, 2024

SAAM Volta and Chief Dan George arrived 15 February after being transported from the Port of Tuzla to Vancouver, via the Magellan Strait, on a 60-day voyage on cargo ship BBC Emerald.

These are the first electric tugs in SAAM Towage’s fleet and the template for tugs the Chilean owner intends to introduce to its fleet in Chile in 2025.

Built as Dynamo and Dynamo II by Sanmar Shipyards in 2023 to Robert Allan’s ElectRA 2300SX design, these 23-m tugs are powered by Corvus Energy Orca lithium-ion battery banks for zero-emissions towage and port operations. They have a beam of 12 m, a draught of around 5 m and a bollard pull of 70 tonnes.

“We continue to make progress on this milestone for SAAM Towage, which is part of our strategy to drive innovation and development for increasingly sustainable operations,” said SAAM Towage managing director Hernán Gómez.

“These tugs, which are the result our alliance with Teck and Neptune Terminals, show our commitment to seek alternatives in our industry to reduce the carbon footprint and support the fight against global climate change.”

At full capacity, these new ElectRA tugs will collectively cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 2,400 tonnes each year, compared with the same operations undertaken by diesel-powered tugs of similar capabilities.

SAAM Towage said these tugs will now undergo preparations with crews and equipment manufacturers.

They will handle bulk carriers at the Neptune Terminal in Vancouver, which is used by Teck Resources to export coal for the steel industry. Teck works with partners to reduce emissions across its supply chain and aims to achieve a 40% reduction in shipping emissions intensity by 2030.

SAAM Towage operates more than 20 tugs along Canada’s west coast at nine ports in British Columbia. It is a leading provider of towage services in the Americas and the third-largest worldwide.

With a fleet of 210 tugs at more than 90 ports in the Americas, the company completes over 140,000 manoeuvres for around 40,000 vessels every year.

British Columbia has become the global leader in electric-powered tug operations as Sanmar has also supplied three ElectRA tugs to HaiSea Marine to berth gas carriers at a new LNG terminal in the province.

The 27th International Tug & Salvage Convention, Exhibition & Awards will be held in association with Caterpillar in Dubai, UAE, 21-23 May 2024. Use this link for more details of this industry event and the associated social and networking opportunities


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