March 10, 2022
Keel laying is one of the four specially celebrated events in the life of a ship. It is the formal recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. In earlier times, keel laying was the initial placement of the central timber making up the backbone of a vessel, called the keel. As steel ships replaced wooden ones, the central timber gave way to a central steel beam.
So, it was day of celebration on March 1, 2022, as a keel laying ceremony was held at Sanmar Denizcilik Tuzla Shipyard in Turkey to mark the start of construction of three ElectRA 2800SX series tugboats being built for HaiSea Marine. The physical construction is the ultimate commitment to the build program.
Majority owned by the Haisla Nation in partnership with Seaspan ULC, HaiSea Marine is starting an innovative and industry leading new battery-powered and low emissions tugboat build program. Once delivered, the new fleet will be among the greenest tugboat fleets in the world and will provide ship-assist and escort towing services to LNG carriers calling at a new export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia.
HaiSea Marine has a major contract to build and operate escort and harbour tugs required for the Kitimat facility. With an ample supply of clean hydroelectric power available in Kitimat, the harbour tugs will be able to recharge from dedicated shore charging facilities at their berths between dockings, effectively resulting in near-zero emissions when running on batteries. GHG emissions from the new tugs are expected to be significantly lower (54% and 24% respectively) than diesel powered alternatives.
The ElectRA 2800 harbour tugs will be first-of-class battery electric tugs, designed to perform their regular ship-berthing and unberthing missions using battery electric power. The harbour tugs will be 28 metres length, with approximately 70 tonnes bollard pull and approximately 5240 kWh of battery capacity.
The new fleet of tugs will also include two RAstar 4000-DF escort dual fuel (LNG and diesel) tugs. Designed by Vancouver BC-based naval architect company, Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL), the new fleet of tugs is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in 2023.