Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another new tug for Quebec?

KST, the developers of the patented Rotor tug, have sold a "design package and technical details" for a model RT 110-37E tug to Groupe Océan of Quebec. Expected delivery is the end of 2012.

The Rotor tug, which is the brainchild of the tug operator Ton Kooren, is essentially a tug with three azimuthing drives. Two of the drives are mounted forward, like a tractor tug and one is mounted aft. The tugs give the performance and handling to meet or exceed that of a V-S tug, but using the simpler technology of the azimuthing drive.

Following the delivery of the first three RT tugs to Kooren's own tug company, Kotug, about twenty have been built, of various designs and are in use by different tug operators, primarily in Europe.

Although the idea has been somewhat slow to catch on, the undeniable benefits are there for the operator that needs the power, and breaking force, combined with extreme maneuverability.

The Océan tug is of a new design, and the particulars are as follows:

LOA: 37 meters (this is a big tug!)
Bollard pull: 110 tonnes
Speed: 15 knots (hull has bulbous bow)
Propulsion: three engines totalling 7,000 bhp approx.

It seems likely that this tug would use three engines of similar size to those in its ASD 5,000 hp twin engine tugs. The similar technology and commonality of parts, etc., would be a distinct advantage to Océan.

This is a tanker escort tug, and will be available on the St.Lawrence River for large crude oil tankers, but also for gas tankers, when and if the gas port is built near Quebec City. The speed of 15 knots allows the tug to keep pace with the ship, and to provide the stern escort and braking forces necessary to stop or redirect very big ships.

There is no mention on KST's site about where the tug will be built, but it almost certainly will be at Océan's own shipyard, Industrie Océan at Ile-aux-Coudres, QC. That yard has just completed building two ASD tugs, and would be up to the challenge.

For more on Rotor tugs and KST - see their website: http://www.rotortug.com/scripts/homepage.php

There is also a section on this particular design, showing a model of the RT-110-37E: http://www.rotortug.com/scripts/developments.php


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