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SAAM Towage to deploy its first electric tugboats

Image: SAAM SAAM electric tugboats
Chile-based SAAM Towage has reached agreement with Teck & Neptune Terminals that will allow the deployment of the first two electric tugs to its fleet.

At full capacity, the new units will reduce 2,400 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) each year. The Electra 2300SX tugs are designed by Vancouver based Robert Allan and will be built at Sanmar Shipyards in Turkey.

“With Teck and Neptune Terminals, SAAM Towage has found value aligned partners who want to drive sustainable environmental changes through innovation,” said Sander Bikkers, President and Country Manager of SAAM Towage Canada.

“This partnership is based on a shared commitment to do our part to address the global challenge of climate change by reducing our carbon footprint. In addition to this, the tugs will significantly reduce the impact of underwater noise, which is another concern in British Columbia's waterways.”

“With an overall length of 23 metres and a 70 tonnes Bollard Pull performance, the Tugs will be highly capable of delivering services to all terminals in the Port of Vancouver," Bikkers added.

"This alliance is significant for both companies, as it gives financial and technical viability to a common strategic objective: to drive innovation and development for an increasingly sustainable operation,” said SAAM Towage´s Managing Director Hernan Gomez.

The tugboats are powered by two separate battery Li-ion energy storage systems, making them 100% electric and zero-emissions ships. They will be charged by British Columbia’s hydroelectric power grid.

SAAM Towage expects the delivery of the tugs during the second half of 2023.

SAAM Towage operates 185 tugboats in 13 countries, and has a well-established presence in British Columbia, including nine tugs serving Vancouver's Inner Harbour.