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Asia and Europe ahead on dual-fuel tugs

Tue 02 May 2017 by Martyn Wingrove

Asia and Europe ahead on dual-fuel tugs
Gondan Shipyard launched Hammerfest at its shipyard in Spain for owner Østensjø Rederi

Asian and European owners are at the forefront of investing in hybrid propulsion and dual-fuel tugs

Owners in Europe such as Østensjø Rederi ordered dual-fuelled tugs to provide more environmentally friendly terminal operations. In Asia, tugs are on order to reduce the environmental footprint of tug operations in some of the region’s largest ports.

According to sister publication LNG World Shipping, harbour tugs are the second most popular type of LNG-fuelled service and supply vessel, after platform supply vessels. There are now six gas-powered tugs in service and eight on order. Wärtsilä, with its medium-speed dual-fuel engines, and Rolls-Royce, with its gas-only units, have both enjoyed success in providing tug propulsion systems.

LNG-fuelled tugs are in operation in Norway, China and Japan, while Dubai and Singapore are poised to join the club with vessels on order. The next new member could well be the US where a number of designs for gas-fuelled tugs and towboats have been tabled.

Three of the eight tugs on order are for Østensjø. It ordered them from Astilleros Gondan Shipyard in Figueras, Spain with Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines. The hull of the third of these tugs was launched at the end of 2016. These tugs were designed by Robert Allan Ltd and classed by Bureau Veritas for use at Statoil’s Hammerfest LNG production plant in northern Norway. The first of these 40m escort tugs, Hammerfest, can operate in the winter conditions encountered on the Barents Sea coast. The other two tugs on order are being outfitted for delivery to Østensjø this year.

The orderbook also includes two dual-fuel tugs Keppel Singmarine is building for Keppel Smit Towage and Maju Maritime. These harbour tugs are scheduled to enter service in the port of Singapore from the first quarter of 2018. They will use bunkering services under construction by the new Keppel-Royal Dutch Shell joint venture company, FueLNG.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) is building a fleet of dual-fuel tugs for operations at its own LNG import terminals. It has a tug on order from the Zhenjiang shipyard for delivery later this year. This vessel will join a growing fleet of CNOOC dual-fuel tugs, which includes Hai Yang Shi You 525, which was delivered from Zhenjiang with Rolls-Royce propulsion in 2015. CNOOC has operated two harbour tugs in China since 2013.  Hai Yang Shi You 521 and Hai Yang Shi You 522 were built by Guangzhou Huangpu shipyard with Wärtsilä propulsion.

LNG-fuelled tugs on order

Tug name Delivery Owner Builder Engine
Elemarateyah 2017 Dubai Maritime City DDW Dubai
Wärtsilä
Hai Yang Shi You XX 2017 CNOOC Zhenjiang Rolls-Royce
Hammerfest 2017 Østensjø Astilleros Gordan Wärtsilä
unnamed 2017 Østensjø Astilleros Gordan Wärtsilä
unnamed 2017 Østensjø Astilleros Gordan Wärtsilä
unnamed 2018 Ningbo Port Co unnamed Niigata
unnamed 2018 Keppel Smit Keppel Singmarine unnamed
unnamed 2018 Maju Maritime Keppel Singmarine unnamed

LNG-fuelled tugs in service

Tug name Delivery Owner Builder Engine
Hai Yang Shi You 521 2013 CNOOC Ghangzhou Huangpu Wärtsilä
Hai Yang Shi You 522 2013 CNOOC Ghangzhou Huangpu Wärtsilä
Econuri 2013 Incheon Port Authority Samsung Wärtsilä
Børgoy 2014 Buksér og Berging Sanmar Rolls-Royce
Bokn 2014
Buksér og Berging
Sanmar Rolls-Royce
Hai Yang Shi You 525 2015 CNOOC Zhenjiang Rolls-Royce
Sakigaki 2015 NYK Line Keihin Dock Niigata

This information comes from the LNG-fuelled ship orderbook and fleet list, a special report by Mike Corkhill and LNG World Shipping, March 2017

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