As part of a competitive bidding process, Bristol Harbor Group Inc. (BHGI) was recently awarded a contract by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to engineer, design and perform construction supervision support services for two new tug vessels. The tugs will be used primarily for deployment, retrieval and maintenance of an ice boom annually installed near the outlet of Lake Erie to help protect NYPA’s hydroelectric plant intakes on the Niagara River from heavy ice floes. The designs are expected to be completed in 2014.
The vessels will be specially reinforced for operations in seasonal ice and employ heavy stems for light ice breaking and shell reinforcement along the ice belt. The conventional drive tugs will employ elevated pilothouses for improved visibility when maneuvering as well as a spacious work deck aft to facilitate ice boom connections. The vessels are designed to comply with proposed Subchapter M of Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations for inspected towing vessels.
“This design/build project is the culmination of BHGI’s operational support services performed for NYPA, which we have been involved in over the last several years,” said Bill Jordan, BHGI’s senior naval architect. “The tugs are intended to replace some of the aging vessels in NYPA’s fleet, such that NYPA can continue to provide hydroelectric power service to the Niagara region with few, if any, interruptions due to either Mother Nature or as a result of vessel maintenance and repair…. We are working closely with NYPA to provide vessels which can readily multi-task, with capabilities augmenting and improving upon those of the existing fleet.”