Marine Link
Sunday, July 14, 2024

Tug Construction and BP Form Tugboat Chartering Joint Venture

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 24, 2024

Earl W Redd (Photo courtesy Tug Construction, LLC)

Earl W Redd (Photo courtesy Tug Construction, LLC)

Vancouver, Wash. based leasing company Tug Construction, LLC announced it is partnering with energy giant BP in a new joint venture offering Jones Act qualified tugboats for bareboat charter. The newly formed entity, Ursa Major Marine Holdings, LLC has acquired a tugboat from Tug Construction and has placed an order for two additional tugs from Portland, Ore. shipbuilder Diversified Marine, Inc.

The JV partners describe Ursa Major as a unique partnership that leverages greater collaboration between shipyards, vessel financiers and shipping customers to address common challenges and unlock opportunities.

"This collaboration with BP and the formation of Ursa Major Marine Holdings reflects our commitment to being an industry leader. We look forward to providing operators with commercially viable options for high performance, safe and sustainable tugboats. We are excited about the future of Ursa Major and the positive impact it will have on the maritime sector," said Kurt Redd, president of Tug Construction.

Harley Franco, a partner in both Tug Construction and Ursa Major, said, "I am thrilled to collaborate with such a reputable and forward-thinking partner as BP. Tug Construction has long been committed to raising the bar for tugboat performance, technology and sustainability in tugboats. Those values will remain foundational for Ursa Major. We are pleased to begin construction on the new tugs at Diversified Marine and look forward to seeing them in service.”

Ursa Major’s newly acquired vessel, Earl W Redd, was built by Diversified Marine and delivered in 2017 as the first EPA Tier 4 tugboat in the United States. Originally designed for towing oil barges to Alaska, the Earl W Redd transitioned its mission in 2022 to support offshore wind projects while under charter to Foss Maritime Company.

The two new vessels ordered by Ursa Major are Robert Allan Ltd. designed RApport 2500 D ship assist tugs. Currently under construction for scheduled charter availability in 2025, the vessels will be the sixth and seventh tugs of the same design built at Diversified Marine.

Frank Manning, president of Diversified Marine, said, “The RApport 2500 D series has been extremely successful on the West Coast. As a result of the RApport’s success, we have been able to standardize our build process, and our team has been putting out a great boat. We are excited for the projects and honored to see two more Diversified Marine built tugs joining Ursa Major’s charter fleet.”