Construction contracts for four new 98.5’x42.6’ Z-Tech tugs have been awarded by Gulf LNG Tugs, Brownsville, Texas, to Master Boat Builders, Coden, Ala. and Sterling Shipyard, Port Neches, Texas. The yards will each build two of the Robert Allan Ltd. Designed vessels. 

The new tugs will serve the Rio Grande LNG export facility (RGLNG).

The tugs will be sisterships to 10 tugs that are currently operating in U.S. Gulf Coast ports. The design combines two Robert Allan innovations: the Z-Tech configuration and the RAstar’s sponsons.

The Z-Tech 30-80 tugs will be American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classed, Escort Tug, Low Emissions Vessel (US) and Fire Fighting – Class 1, in compliance with the ABS Marine Vessel Rules, 2023. The tugs are also Coast Guard-certified, Subchapter M for towing vessels.

The new tugs are expected to have a bollard pull of approximately 87 tons, with a pair of Schottel SRP 510FP thrusters, 9.2’ fixed pitch propellers, driven by two EPA Tier IV-compliant Caterpillar 3516E main engines, delivering 3,500 hp at 1,800 rpm each. A Markey DEF-48A, Class III – 100-hp winch is fitted on the forward deck for escort operations.

Gulf LNG Tugs is a joint venture between Bay-Houston Towing Co., Moran Towing Corp., and Suderman & Young Towing Co.


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