Derecktor Shipyards to build offshore tugs for Massachusetts LNG

Sep 23, 2008 12:00 AM

The regional benefits of having a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Massachusetts are showing up in this order of two offshore terminal tugs, to be built by Derecktor Shipyards, based in Bridgeport, Conn.

Derecktor Shipyards announced in June that it signed a contract to deliver two tugs to Boston Towing & Transportation of East Boston, a subsidiary of Reinauer Transportation Companies. Boston Towing will provide support for the deepwater LNG port being built 10 miles off the coast of Gloucester, Mass.  The project includes building a 13 mile sub-sea pipeline to connect two offshore unloading buoys with a mainland facility.

Robert Allan Ltd will design both tugs. The larger tug will be a 128 foot long, 5,400-hp z-drive, FiFi 1 offshore support vessel based in Gloucester and under contract with Neptune LNG, which will operate the new terminal.

The smaller tug will be a 98-foot, 5,400-hp z-drive Ramparts 3000, also with FiFi 1 capacity. This tug will be based in Boston Harbor and will back up the larger tug, according to Kathy Kennedy, a spokeswoman for Derecktor. The smaller vessel will also help with the harbor transits and dockings of all LNG carriers that stop at the Distrigas of Massachusetts LNG port in Everett.

The z-drives of both tugs are being built by Rolls-Royce and will have controllable pitch propellers. The fire pumps will be driven off the main engines in order to save weight. That decision was also made “to limit initial construction costs and also maintenance costs over the lifespan of the vessel,” said Kennedy.

The larger tug will also have radiantly heated decks and bow bulwark caps. “The deck heat is an additional system which will maintain or eliminate ice on the decks for all operating conditions during the winter months,” said Kennedy. “With the deck heat system in place it will allow for a safer work environment and also eliminate the need for manual removal of ice from the vessel’s bulwarks and decks.”

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