Tugboats of the Future: SAAM Towage’s Electric Fleet Sets Sail for Vancouver

Groundbreaking electric tugs, designed for sustainability, depart from Turkey to join British Columbia operations.


SAAM Towage is set to embark on a groundbreaking journey as its inaugural electric tugs are poised to depart from the Port of Tuzla, Turkey, bound for Vancouver, Canada. The strategic move aligns with SAAM Towage’s commitment to sustainable maritime operations and marks a significant leap toward the company’s futuristic business endeavors.

Pablo Cáceres, SAAM Towage’s Engineering and Development Manager, emphasized the pivotal moment, stating, “We are one step closer to having our electric tugs operating, which for us represents the way to advance towards more sustainable operations and move our business into the future.”

The vessels, meticulously designed as part of an agreement involving SAAM Towage, Teck, and Neptune, have successfully undergone final seaworthiness trials. Soon, they will be loaded onto the cargo ship BBC Emerald, requiring the deployment of two 400-ton cranes for this intricate maneuver.

Crafted by renowned naval architect Robert Allan, the ElectRA 2300SX boasts an impressive 23-meter overall length and a formidable 70 tons of bollard pull. Operating at full capacity, these electric tugs are projected to curtail CO2 emissions by an impressive 2,600 metric tons annually. Propelled by two Li-ion battery banks, the vessels stand as exemplars of 100% electric, zero-emission maritime technology, drawing power from the environmentally conscious British Columbia power grid.

Given current constraints in the Panama Canal, the electric tugs will chart their course to Canada through the Strait of Magellan, anticipating a 60-day voyage. SAAM Towage currently oversees a fleet of over 20 tugs across nine ports in British Columbia, reinforcing its position as a leading provider of port towage services in the Americas and the third-largest globally. With over 60 years in the infrastructure business, SAAM operates in more than 90 ports across 13 countries, boasting a modern fleet of 210 tugs and offering air cargo logistics services at eight Latin American airports.

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