Friday, October 1, 2010

Seaspan Orders Four New Tugs for Vancouver BC Area

Seaspan International has announced that it has signed a contract for four new state-of-the-art assist tug boats that, when delivered between the end of this year and the fall of 2011, will be placed into service in the Port of Vancouver, British Columbia-area.

The order, with Sanmar Denizcilik Shipyard, of Istanbul Turkey, is Seaspan's single largest tug build commitment of a single class of vessels in more than 35 years.

Financial details of the deal were not released.
The primary duties for the new tugs will be to dock, undock and escort ships in and out of Vancouver Harbor and the Roberts Bank-area.

The new RAstar 28-meter tugs were designed by North Vancouver, BC-based naval architects, Robert Allan Ltd., and according to a statement by Seaspan, will be amongst the most powerful vessels to sail BC waters.

"We are excited to announce this fleet enhancement to our employees, the BC marine industry and the community at large," said Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of Seaspan parent-firm Washington Marine Group. "The benefits of a purchase of this type are numerous, including the rebuilding and modernization of our fleet, and increased safety and capabilities for all ship escorts performed in the Vancouver Harbor. As recently reported, the port has an immediate need for more modern and powerful tugs to assist the growing number of tankers within the port. Seaspan recognized this growing concern, and I'm extremely pleased to report that we took the necessary steps to assist Port Metro Vancouver and the BC Coast Pilots in providing the solution."

Whitworth also said that recent changes in Canadian tax laws and a favorable exchange rate due to the devaluation of the Euro environment had created a "golden opportunity" for Seaspan to order the new tugs.

"Because of these two factors alone, we were able to increase the purchase size from an initial three boats to the eventual four boat order," he said.