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Atlas

Jul 2, 2014 01:50 PM

Seabulk adds a powerful new z-drive tug to its Lakes Charles fleet

Atlas, a Jensen-designed tug, was built at Great Lakes Shipyard in Ohio.

Atlas, a Jensen-designed tug, was built at Great Lakes Shipyard in Ohio.

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In anticipation of growth at the Port of Lake Charles, La., a muscular new ASD tug, Atlas, joined Condor and Energy Zeus in Seabulk Towing’s Lake Charles fleet in late summer of 2013.

The 92-foot tug was designed by Jensen Maritime of Seattle and built at Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Port of Lake Charles is connected to the Gulf of Mexico via a 34-mile-long, 40-foot-deep, 400-foot-wide ship channel that also intersects the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. The port is a major terminus surrounded by the refineries and petrochemical plants concentrated at Lake Charles and Sulphur, La. The port ranks number 11 by tonnage in the country.    
 

The JonRie A220 double-drum escort winch with Saturn 12 hawsers.

Indications are that Dynamic Industries, an offshore service company primarily fabricating interconnection piping and installation services to the offshore industry, and CB&I, a construction company serving the offshore, nuclear, LNG industries and others, will be increasing their activity significantly in the near future.

In addition, Leevac Shipyards of Jennings, La., established a Lake Charles yard a few years ago to take advantage of the site’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. That strategy seems to be working, since the yard is currently finishing the construction of several OSVs.

And then there are the anchor industries such as British Gas, which operates the Turnpike LNG terminal across from Seabulk’s moorage and Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG terminal on the Calcasieu Ship Channel near the Gulf. Sempra has recently been awarded an export permit, and Magnolia LNG, a subsidiary of Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd., is developing a mid-scale LNG facility in the port.

The tugs Condor and Zeus are on contract to the British Gas LNG plant, and Atlas is assigned to general ship-assist and escort duties. However, all three tugs are kept busy with tankers calling at the area’s extensive refinery and petrochemical facilities. Atlas, a sturdy tug with stability provided by a 38-foot beam, is well suited to assisting the giant tankers, especially when conducting an indirect tow, a technique more in demand as ships get larger and ports seem to get smaller. The boat’s draft is 18.3 feet.
 

The wheelhouse features a compact split console and 360° visibility.

“The main considerations were bollard pull, escort capability and firefighting capability in a tug whose mission would primarily be as a ship-assist and docking tug,” said Seabulk Vice President Tom Denning.

The z-drive arrangement with an extended keel on Atlas increases the tug’s escort capability, according to Denning. He also cites the FiFi-1 system, the JonRie double-drum hawser winch and the double-hull arrangement of the fuel and lubricating oil tanks as significant attributes that will help Atlas achieve its mission at Lake Charles.

In a tanker-driven port, Atlas meets the increasingly stringent requirements imposed upon marine operating companies. The customers, primarily oil and gas companies, are sensitive to the scrutiny they undergo from regulators and the public. Mishaps are costly both in money and reputation, a situation that drives the marine industry to crew its boats with highly skilled people and to have equipment that is powerful and responsive enough to work the big ships safely and efficiently.

The propulsion system on Atlas consists of two Tier 2 Caterpillar C280 diesels generating 2,320 hp each at 900 rpm shafted to Rolls-Royce US 205 azimuthing stern drives. The system produces bollard pull of 62.8 tons and a speed of 12 knots.

The two Tier 2 Caterpillar 6.6 marine generators produce 150 kW each at 1,800 rpm. Denning cites efficiency and reliability as the reasons for choosing Caterpillar.

On the bow, is a JonRie A220 double-drum winch wound with 450 feet of 2.25-inch Saturn 12 line, along with a wide and sturdy H bitt and bow staple.

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