Edison Chouest will sell six tugs to Great Lakes Towing

Edison Chouest Offshore, Galliano, La., has agreed to sell six of its 15 tractor-style tugboats to Great Lakes Towing, a division of Great Lakes Group, in anticipation of the end of its contract providing ship-assist services in San Diego. Chouest agreed to sell its entire San Diego fleet, comprising vessels called C-Tractor 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 14. The first five are 90-foot, 2,400-hp vessels, while C-Tractor 14 is 105 feet in length and 4,000 hp. The agreement calls for a closing later this year.

“If the sale takes place, it probably won’t happen until that time in the fall when our contract with the Navy actually comes to an end,” said Kirt Chouest, operations manager for the family-owned company.

Cleveland-based Great Lakes Group said earlier that it would build six new tractor-style tugs to fulfill the San Diego contract, which specifically calls for six tugs capable of assisting both submarines and surface ships. Chouest, which provided those ship-assist services to the Navy for almost a decade, recently lost out to Great Lakes on the bidding for that contract.

Chouest also provides ship-assist services to the Navy in Mayport, Fla.; Kings Bay, Ga.; and New London, Conn. Great Lakes also provides ship-assist service to the Navy at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The acquisition of six tugs from Chouest will give Great Lakes a total of 11 tractor-style tugs by the end of this year, and will leave Chouest with nine, including the 155-foot, cycloidal drive LOOP Responder, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico.