Vigor Fab was recently awarded a contract by Tidewater Barge Lines, Vancouver, Wash., to build three new tugboats. Construction of the first tug will start on Jan. 24, with the keel laying at Vigor’s facility in Portland, Ore.

Tidewater has rebuilt and repowered several of the vessels in its fleet in recent years. These 102'x38'x11' pusher tugs will be the first newly built vessels for the company in nearly 30 years. Delivery of the first tug is scheduled for December 2014, with the second and third to follow in 2015.

Designed by CT Marine, Edgecomb, Maine, the pusher tugs are specially designed to service the Columbia River market. Each tug is powered by two Caterpillar 3516 Tier 3 Engines producing a total of 4,500hp. The tug design also features ergonomic accommodations and comforts proven to minimize fatigue and reduce injuries amongst crew.

“Tidewater has provided top-notch tug and barge service for more than 80 years,” said Bryan Nichols, sales manager of Vigor Industrial. “We’re honored they chose us to help make this critical investment in their future.”

“Vigor is a great fit for this project," said Bob Curcio, president and CEO at Tidewater. "The company has proven itself as a competitive shipbuilder with the capacity we need and the quality we demand. We are eager to start our new build program and be able to put these tugs to work for our customers.”