Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Groupe Ocean breaks into BC

Groupe Ocean has registered two new tugs in Vancouver with local Vancouver names.

Ocean Granville and Ocean Kitsilano are 381 gt vessels built by Damen's Song Cam shipyard in Vietnam. Although registered Canadian October 10, it would seem both have been chartered out to a delivery service and placed under the St.Vincent and Grenadines flag temporarily. AIS indicates both tugs are still located in Hai Phong, Vietnam.

Details are very skimpy at this point, with Canadian on line registry indicating a speed of 13 knots. This would certainly indicate an escort capability, and thus the 2525 kW (3386 BHP) figure given would be for only one engine of the two.  These tugs then are almost certainly Damen 2813 Compact Design tugs with an 85 tonne Bollard Pull (ahead), and 80 tonnes astern. They are ASD type tugs with escort skeg.

Damen ASD Tug 2813

The Dutch company Damen now builds most of its tugs in Vietnam and typically has a number of tugs in stock. Customizing, in terms of winches, and other fittings can be made quickly, and it is not unusual for new tugs to be in service within a very few months of orders.

With both tugs carrying the names of well known Vancouver neighborhoods, it is unlikely that they will serve anywhere but in Vancouver harbour. This would put them in direct competition with Seaspan (which owns Cates) and SAAM (now without Smit as a partner.) It is interesting that they may have got a jump on  Kotug Canada, the recently announced partnership with Dutch Kotug and the Canadian company Horizon Maritime. That partnership is seeking terminal operation and harbour tug opportunities in Canada.


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