Rotterdam, 9 May 2024

On 8 May 2024, KOTUG Canada Inc., a partnership between KOTUG International B.V. and Horizon Maritime Services Ltd., held a keel laying ceremony for two RAsalvor 4400-DFM dual fuel methanol escort tugs – Robert Allan Ltd. design – to service the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, at Sanmar Shipyards Altinova in Yalova, Turkiye.

Laying the keel is a traditional maritime ceremony that signifies the official start of a ship’s construction. This keel laying ceremony signifies a major milestone for the project enabling it to proceed to the construction phase to meet the delivery schedule by mid-2025. This milestone was celebrated in the presence of representatives of KOTUG Canada and Sanmar Shipyards to mark the commencement of construction of the two revolutionary vessels.

The two innovative tugboats, designed by Robert Allan Ltd., are the first of their kind to be powered by methanol and are engineered to provide the high bollard pull required for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Ard-Jan Kooren, President & CEO of KOTUG International: “We are thrilled to collaborate on this groundbreaking project that not only transforms the maritime sector but also plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainability in the shipping industry.”


Ali Gürün, Chairman of the Board of Sanmar Shipyards “During the keel laying ceremony, we not only marked the beginning of the physical construction of the vessels but also the continuation of an ambitious project that pushes the boundaries of maritime technology and environmental consciousness.”

The tugs will escort tankers from the harbour limits of the Port of Vancouver to the open Pacific Ocean through the commercial shipping lanes of the Salish Sea. To provide this service, KOTUG Canada has partnered with the Sc’ianew First Nation from Beecher Bay, strategically located along the shipping route.

These two innovative tugs, to be named SD AISEMAHT and SD QWII-AAN’C SARAH in honour of important members of Sc’ianew First Nation, are scheduled to be the world’s first large purpose-built high bollard pull methanol fuelled tugs when they enter service in 2025. They will provide significant environmental benefits by further reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and underwater radiated noise.


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