On 16th December, The Great Lakes Towing Company named two new tugs, the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, at the Cleveland, Ohio, facility of its sister company Great Lakes Shipyard. The new tugs are the fourth and fifth vessels in a series of ten Damen Stan Tug 1907 ICE harbour tugs that Great Lakes Shipyard is building for The Great Lakes Towing Company’s operations, via Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC).
Operated by two-man crews, these compact and versatile tugs deliver up to 30 tonnes of bollard pull and can be found in operation all over the world. Their relatively small size and high manoeuvrability makes them ideal for the Great Lakes region with its narrow waterways and many low bridges. The tugs’ ability to operate safely in icy waters is also essential given the very cold temperatures that occur there in the winter. The vessels for The Great Lakes Towing Company are also fitted with hybrid propulsion systems to minimise emissions when idling and also to reduce main engine lifecycle costs.
In his opening remarks at the ceremony, Joe Starck, president of The Great Lakes Towing Company, paid tribute to the resilience shown by the employees of the shipyard in completing the tugs despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also thanked the companies’ stakeholders, many of whom had tuned-in during the virtual event, for their support through these challenging times.
First to be named as the snow fell was the Pennsylvania, sponsored by Louise Kandzer, partner of Gregg Thauvette, the company’s senior vice president – operations. This was then followed by the naming of the Wisconsin, sponsored by Sally Stevens, the wife of Robert Zadkovich, vice president – business development.
The new tugs are replacing four existing boats from the Towing Company’s fleet that are being retired as part of the company’s modernisation programme, which was initiated largely in response to the US Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations coming into force in 2016. The new tugs will operate throughout the Great Lakes and up into the St. Lawrence Seaway. The first Damen Stan Tug 1907 ICE for The Great Lakes Towage Company entered service in July 2017 and the sixth tug in the programme will be delivered later this summer.
Great Lakes Shipyard is building the tugs under the terms of a Licensing Agreement with Damen and is the exclusive builder of Damen’s Stan Tug 1907 ICE harbour tugs in the USA.