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BUSINESS – KOTUG Canada To Operate Three High Performance Vessels To Support The Trans Mountain Expansion Project

Beecher Bay, BC – KOTUG Canada Inc., a partnership between KOTUG International B.V. and Canada’s Horizon Maritime Inc., has been awarded a long-term agreement with Trans Mountain, operator of Canada’s only oil pipeline servicing the West Coast of Canada providing tidewater access to foreign markets for Canada’s petroleum resources. KOTUG Canada will provide escort towage to tankers loaded at Westridge Marine Terminal. KOTUG Canada was selected for this purpose by shippers on the Trans Mountain Pipeline after a rigorous and competitive process, facilitated by Trans Mountain. Besides the strong technical specifications of these modern vessels, decisive factors for the award included KOTUG Canada’s commitment to a strong and innovative approach to Indigenous involvement and the partnership’s strong foundation in operational excellence in Canada and around the world.   


The announcement coming shortly after the restart of the TMX pipeline after the November flooding in BC.

This agreement has been established in partnership with the Sc’ianew First Nation, located in Beecher Bay, on Vancouver Island. This strategic location along the Trans Mountain escort route will provide KOTUG Canada with a safe home for a dedicated berthing facility as well as supporting the commercial activities of the Sc’ianew First Nation in Beecher Bay. The escort tug names will commemorate two important people from the Sc’ianew community.  

The agreement provides the Expansion Project, and all other marine movements, with necessary resources in support of Trans Mountain’s stringent commitment to marine safety and will further enhance the overall safety of vessel transits along the commercial shipping route between Westridge Marine Terminal in Burrard Inlet and the open ocean.  

KOTUG Canada will provide and operate the two dedicated escort tugs, each approximately 50 metres long, with minimum bollard pull capacity of 110 T BP, which will be flagged in Canada and operated by highly skilled and capable Canadian mariners.  

Provision of new technologies will assist to reduce underwater radiated noise and greenhouse gases. This includes the application of a revolutionary vessel hull coating developed in Canada by Graphite Innovation & Technologies.  

KOTUG Canada will operate in close coordination with the Sc’ianew First Nation. The agreement also includes related training and development of community members of Indigenous communities to maintain the necessary experience and knowledge in the field of advanced safe tug operations and marine response. Importantly, the partnership between KOTUG Canada and the Sc’ianew First Nation provides vessel crews opportunities to learn from traditional knowledge and operate with respect and appreciation of the unique natural habitat of British Columbia’s coastal environment.    

Also, under a separate transaction, KOTUG Canada has an agreement with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) for the provision of one dedicated offshore supply vessel (OSV) to support the protection of the Salish Sea/Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait. KOTUG Canada has an agreement with WCMRC to supply and operate a dedicated OSV, suitably equipped for 24/7 oil spill response services. This highly capable vessel also possesses significant bollard pull capacity of 207 T BP and is also capable of vessel towing, if required to do so. 

Together, these three KOTUG Canada-operated vessels, based out of Beecher Bay, will help to further improve the safety of the marine network in the region. 

Early operations are expected to commence from late 2022. See the backgrounder here for more information about the escort vessel specifications.  

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