SAAM joins the electric tug trend with two harbor tugs for Vancouver

Courtesy SAAM

Posted on October 14, 2022 at 6:13 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

SAAM Towage has reached an agreement to purchase two new all-electric tugs for bulk terminal operations in Vancouver, BC.


Mining company Teck Resources has accepted a ship-use contract for ship handling and harbor towage at Neptune Terminals, a coal and potash terminal located in the Port of Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. Neptune is jointly owned by Canpotex, a potash exporter, and the coal division of Teck. Between these two commodities, it handles approximately 24 million tons of bulk products per year.


The two electric tugs will have a towing capacity of 70 tonnes to haul large bulk carriers and, thanks to the load provided by the British Columbia hydroelectric grid, they will generate no emissions from the well when awakened. They will be the first electric tugs in SAAM’s fleet and the first assigned to joint vessel-handling and general towing duties in British Columbia, the partners said in a statement.


In operation, they will eliminate more than 2,400 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. They will also operate quietly, reducing underwater noise in the sensitive Strait of Georgia environment.


“This partnership is based on a shared commitment to do our part to meet the global challenge of climate change by reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, the tugs will significantly reduce the impact of underwater noise, which is another concern in British Columbia. waterways,” said Sander Bikkers, Head of SAAM Towage Canada.


The tugs will be built by Turkish tugboat giant Sanmar to a design by Robert Allan Ltd. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2023.


Teck also recently announced an agreement with Oldendorff Carriers to use more efficient bulk carriers for steelmaking coal shipments from the Port of Vancouver, which will reduce emissions by approximately 45,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Teck also announced an all-electric road transport truck driver.

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