Two electric-powered emissions-free electric “Tugs of the Future” built by Sanmar Shipyards in Türkiye are undergoing sea trials ahead of being delivered to major operator SAAM Towage’s Canadian fleet.
The new generation, environmentally-friendly tugs are based on the exclusive ElectRA 2300SX design from leading naval architects Robert Allan Ltd (RAL), and are the result of close co-operation between RAL, SAAM Towage and SANMAR at every stage of the project.
They were launched on April 8 and September 9 after being completed at Sanmar’s purpose-built shipyards in the heart of 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 draft of 5.5m, have an impressive bollard pull of 70 tonnes 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 940ekW at 1,800 rev/min, are IMO Tier III compliant. At full capacity, the new units will reduce 2,400 tons of greenhouse gases each year.
Ali Gurun, Chairman of 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.”
The signing and steel cutting ceremonies for both tugs now undergoing sea trials took place during the ITS Convention in Istanbul, in September 2022.
At the signing ceremony, Hernan Gomez, Managing Director of SAAM Towage, said of the partnership between Sanmar, RAL and SAAM Towage: “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 ongoing collaboration with RAL and battery energy storage company Corvus Energy to build low and no-emission tugs utilising alternative fuels and innovative technological advances to protect the environment and build a sustainable tug and towing industry.
SAAM Towage is the leading tugboat operator in the Americas, providing port and offshore towage services in more than 90 ports and 13 countries from Prince Rupert, Canada, to Chile, in the far south. It has a fleet of more than 200 tugboats and expert crewmembers, operating on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
Sanmar leads the world in the construction of Robert Allan Ltd-design tugs, with approaching 300 built to date. Its extensive range of powerful, yet environmentally-conscious tugs, pilot boats, mooring boats and support ships now includes revolutionary battery electric-powered tugs along with eco-friendly LNG-fuelled, hybrid and autonomous vessels. Sanmar also operates a powerful fleet of tugs with an average age of three years, providing a huge variety of services in ports around Türkiye.