December 8, 2021 – Beecher Bay, British Columbia, Canada – KOTUG Canada Inc., a partnership between KOTUG International B.V. and Canada’s Horizon Maritime Inc., has been awarded a long-term agreement with Trans Mountain, operator of Canada’s only oil pipeline servicing the West Coast of Canada providing tidewater access to foreign markets for Canada’s petroleum resources. KOTUG Canada will provide escort towage to tankers loaded at Westridge Marine Terminal. KOTUG Canada was selected for this purpose by shippers on the Trans Mountain Pipeline after a rigorous and competitive process, facilitated by Trans Mountain. Besides the strong technical specifications of these modern vessels, decisive factors for the award included KOTUG Canada’s commitment to a strong and innovative approach to Indigenous involvement and the partnership’s strong foundation in operational excellence in Canada and around the world

This agreement has been established in partnership with the Sc’ianew First Nation, located in Beecher Bay, on Vancouver Island. This strategic location along the Trans Mountain escort route will provide KOTUG Canada with a safe home for a dedicated berthing facility as well as supporting the commercial activities of the Sc’ianew First Nation in Beecher Bay. The escort tug names will commemorate two important people from the Sc’ianew community. 

The agreement provides the Expansion Project, and all other marine movements, with necessary resources in support of Trans Mountain’s stringent commitment to marine safety and will further enhance the overall safety of vessel transits along the commercial shipping route between Westridge Marine Terminal in Burrard Inlet and the open ocean. 

KOTUG Canada will provide and operate the two dedicated escort tugs, each approximately 50 metres long, with minimum bollard pull capacity of 110 T BP, which will be flagged in Canada and operated by highly skilled and capable Canadian mariners. 

Provision of new technologies will assist to reduce underwater radiated noise and greenhouse gases. This includes the application of a revolutionary vessel hull coating developed in Canada by Graphite Innovation & Technologies. 

KOTUG Canada will operate in close coordination with the Sc’ianew First Nation. The agreement also includes related training and development of community members of Indigenous communities to maintain the necessary experience and knowledge in the field of advanced safe tug operations and marine response. Importantly, the partnership between KOTUG Canada and the Sc’ianew First Nation provides vessel crews opportunities to learn from traditional knowledge and operate with respect and appreciation of the unique natural habitat of British Columbia’s coastal environment. 

Also, under a separate transaction, KOTUG Canada has an agreement with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) for the provision of one dedicated offshore supply vessel (OSV) to support the protection of the Salish Sea/Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait. KOTUG Canada has an agreement with WCMRC to supply and operate a dedicated OSV, suitably equipped for 24/7 oil spill response services. This highly capable vessel also possesses significant bollard pull capacity of 207 T BP and is also capable of vessel towing, if required to do so. 

Together, these three KOTUG Canada-operated vessels, based out of Beecher Bay, will help to further improve the safety of the marine network in the region. 

Early operations are expected to commence from late 2022. See the backgrounder for more information about the escort vessel specifications. 


“We have gone through great lengths, controversy and criticism to protect the ocean. This is just one part of our commitment to our people to do so. We want to be the centre for research, development and ocean protection, all while being the ambulance of the sea.” 

Chief Russ Chipps, Sc’ianew (Beecher Bay) 

“We are proud to be selected as the exclusive provider of escort tug support to Trans Mountain tankers. It is an acknowledgment of the strong heritage, knowledge and innovative culture of the combined companies of KOTUG Canada, who both have impressive track records. Our strong commitment to First Nations, social responsibility and sustainability will successfully support Trans Mountain’s environment-focused safety initiatives.” 

Ard-Jan Kooren, President and CEO, KOTUG International; Board Member and Director, KOTUG Canada 

“Being entrusted by Trans Mountain and WCMRC to provide these critical marine support services to keep our coastlines safe is an honour and a responsibility that we place the highest level of importance on. Partnering with the Sc’ianew First Nation to deliver these services has been a remarkable and rewarding experience – we look forward to achieving further success together as we build on the momentum we have created.” 

Sean Leet, President and CEO, Horizon Maritime; Board Member and Director, KOTUG Canada 

“The offshore supply vessel (OSV) is a substantial enhancement of oil spill response capacity on Canada’s West Coast. Offshore supply vessels have proven to be very effective oil spill response ships. At 245 feet and with 1,000 tonnes of oil storage capacity, it will be the largest ship in our fleet. The OSV will allow WCMRC to mount a large-scale response within six hours anywhere along the shipping lanes. WCMRC will be outfitting the OSV with 4,000 feet of offshore boom, a high-speed sweep system and a high-capacity skimming system.” 

Kevin Gardner, President, WCMRC 

“Today represents a significant milestone in meeting our marine shipping commitments as a result of innovative partnerships between marine industry and Indigenous communities. With KOTUG Canada’s operations based out of Beecher Bay First Nation on southern Vancouver Island, these tugs will bring significant new tow capability to the region and will to raise the level of marine safety and emergency response, benefiting the shared waters of the Salish Sea. Chief Chipps and his community have shown great leadership in the protection of the marine environment, and this partnership will provide significant employment and commercial opportunities. I could not be happier for the Sc’ianew people. This is a great example of how shared values of protecting the marine environment, building capacity and growing local economies can work together.” 

Ian Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Trans Mountain Corporation 


KOTUG Canada is a partnership between KOTUG International and Horizon Maritime, established in 2019 offering terminal and harbour towage services across Canada with both companies combining their experience, expertise and best practices. KOTUG Canada continues to invest strongly in sustainable innovations to improve its services for the benefit of the entire maritime industry. Examples are the invention and deployment of the highly manoeuvrable RotorTug®, hybrid tugs, Infield Support Vessels, a dispatch tug planning solution, and various other maritime solutions to contribute to a green maritime environment. KOTUG Canada is firmly committed to the highest industry standards of health, safety, environment, quality and security. 

Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. (Horizon Maritime) is a Canadian owned and operated company, whose management team has unrivalled experience having been integrally involved in all aspects of the marine industry for over 30 years. We are an industry leading organization focused on vessel operations and the recruitment and placement of marine professionals in all sectors of the marine industry. With locations across Canada and in Norway, the Horizon Maritime Team has supplied a multitude of clients with crew and crewing services, marine logistics services, project management, procurement, payroll and benefits administration as well as operated/managed vessels from small tugs through to offshore supply vessels both domestically and internationally. KOTUG is a leading maritime company, offering its innovative towage and maritime related services on a global scale. Adding value by sustainability-focused innovations, KOTUG provides the complete portfolio based on a combination of long-standing knowledge and advanced technologies. From designing, building, chartering and operating vessels to training people and providing innovative consultancy services. The company’s expertise is divided across five pillars: Towage, Training & Consultancy, Intelligence, Subsea and Maritime Excellence. KOTUG is active in Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East, North and South America and the Caribbean and continues to expand its operations worldwide. KOTUG is family-owned and firmly committed to the highest industry standards of health, safety, environment, quality and security. 


Established in 1976, WCMRC is the Transport Canada-certified marine spill response organization for Canada’s West Coast. WCMRC’s mandate under the Canada Shipping Act is to be prepared to respond to marine oil spills along British Columbia’s entire coastline. 


Trans Mountain Corporation operates Canada’s only pipeline system transporting oil products to the West Coast. We deliver nearly 300,000 barrels of petroleum products each day through 1,150 kilometres of pipeline in Alberta and British Columbia, and 111 kilometres of pipeline in Washington state. 

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project will provide increased capacity to support Canadian crude oil production growth and ensure access to global energy markets. The largest project in the pipeline’s history, it involves installing approximately 980 kilometres of new pipeline, new and modified facilities including pump stations and terminals, and a new dock complex at Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia. 

As a federal Crown corporation, Trans Mountain Corporation continues to build upon Trans Mountain’s more than 65 years of experience delivering operational and safety excellence through our crude oil pipeline system. 

Media contacts: 

KOTUG | Jacqueline van den Heuvel ǀ [email protected] | tel. +31(0)10 820 1063 | 

Mobile: +31 (0) 6 29 70 22 90 

Trans Mountain Media Relations | [email protected] | 1.604.908.9734 or 1.855.908.9734 

WCMRC | [email protected] | 1.778.991.0003 

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