In a commitment to significantly enhance services to its customers, and to expand its ship-assist capabilities at California
’s largest ports, AMNAV Maritime Services will construct four new tugs that will be among the most powerful in the marketplace.
The multi-million dollar fleet expansion was announced by Milton Merritt
, president of the company that is already a major provider of ship-docking services on San Francisco Bay and at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. “Through this investment, we will be both growing and improving our presence in the ship-assist sector,” said Merritt. “We are looking forward to our expanded capabilities and to providing our customers with the best in service.”
AMNAV, part of Seattle-based Marine Resources Group (MRG), will build the new tugs at an MRG-owned shipyard in Rainier, Oregon. The “Dolphin-Class” tugs will be 78 feet long and will pack 5,080 horsepower, enough to handle a wide range of ships, including new-generation Post-Panamax and Ultra-Large Container Vessels. The tugs will be powered by twin Caterpillar (CAT)
engines linked to azimuthing stern drives, also known as “Z-drives,” manufactured by Rolls-Royce.
“In addition to being among the industry’s most powerful ship-assist tugs, they will also be among the greenest,” Merritt said. “The engines will be certified under the low-emission standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and EPA,” he noted, adding that AMNAV also has upgraded a number of its existing tugs with IMO-certified engines. “We are committed to exercising good environmental stewardship as well as exploring new and innovative ways of conservation,” Merritt said.
As for the timing of the new-construction program, Merritt said it will enable AMNAV to keep pace with customers bringing ever-larger ships into the fast-growing trans-Pacific trade. “The trade is booming.” Merritt declared, “The trend toward bigger ships is growing, and that means we need more horsepower to handle them.”
The new boats are expected to be in service by early next year.