Five Tugs will Form the World’s Most Technologically Advanced Fleet to Date

NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, – HaiSea Marine Limited Partnership (HaiSea Marine LP), majority owned by the Haisla Nation in partnership with Seaspan ULC, is pleased to announce the start of an innovative and industry leading new battery-powered and low emissions tugboat build program. Once delivered, the new fleet will be among the greenest tugboat fleets in the world and will provide ship-assist and escort towing services to LNG carriers calling at LNG Canada’s new export facility in Kitimat in the unceded traditional territory of the Haisla Nation.

HaiSea Marine has a major contract with LNG Canada to build and operate escort and harbour tugs required for their export facility in Kitimat. With an ample supply of clean hydroelectric power available in Kitimat, the harbour tugs will be able to recharge from dedicated shore charging facilities at their berths between dockings, effectively resulting in near-zero emissions when running on batteries. GHG emissions from the new tugs are expected to be significantly lower (54% and 24% respectively) than diesel powered alternatives.

The new fleet of tugs will consist of two (2) RAstar 4000-DF escort dual fuel (LNG and diesel) tugs and three (3) ElectRA 2800 electric harbour tugs. Designed by Vancouver BC-based naval architect company, Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL), the tugs will be constructed at Sanmar following a comprehensive RFP process built around stringent green marine specifications. The new fleet of tugs is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in 2023.

The RAstar 4000-DF escort tugs will measure 40 metres in length, and with 100 tonnes of bollard pull will be the west coast of Canada’s most powerful escort tugs – and among the world’s most high-performance escort tugs – with the ability to generate indirect forces in escort of approximately 200 tonnes. In addition, the escort tugs will feature an exhaust after-treatment system in full compliance with IMO Tier III emissions standards, the most stringent emissions standards for the international marine industry.

HaiSea RAStar

The HaiSea RAstar.

The ElectRA 2800 harbour tugs that will operate in tandem at LNG Canada’s new export facility will be first-of-class battery electric tugs, designed to perform their regular ship-berthing and unberthing missions using battery electric power. The ElectRA 2800 harbour tugs will be 28 metres length, with approximately 70 tonnes bollard pull and approximately 5240 kWh of battery capacity.

HaiSea ElectRA

The HaiSea ElectRA.

Sanmar has a worldwide reputation for innovation and excellence. Renowned for building some of the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly tugs based on world-leading designs from naval architects such as RAL, Sanmar is a leader in the construction of RAL tugboats, with over 200 tugs built to date, ranging from LNG-fueled, hybrid to autonomous vessels.

Crystal Smith, Haisla Chief Councillor, said, “On behalf of Haisla Nation Council we are happy to see this moment reached through the work of our joint venture. The HaiSea Marine joint venture will lead to many opportunities for Haisla members, and reaching this stage with Sanmar Shipyards brings us a step closer to realizing these benefits for our members.”

Frank Butzelaar, CEO, Seaspan Marine Transportation said, “The start of the Robert Allan designed Sanmar build program brings HaiSea one step closer to delivering on the promise made to the Haisla Nation when this partnership was conceived over a decade ago. These dual fuel environmentally friendly vessels represent the future – they are revolutionary in both their technology and their ability to create opportunity for the Haisla people. This remains HaiSea’s promise.”

Ali Gurun, Vice President of Sanmar, said, “We are delighted that HaiSea Marine has chosen Sanmar to build the two dual fuel escort tugs and three battery powered harbour tugs that will serve one of the largest energy projects in Canadian history, the LNG Canada liquification and export facility in Kitimat. These five tugs will form the world’s most technologically advanced fleet to date. Sanmar is proud to be leading the drive toward a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly tugboat industry with this industry leading and important project.”  

For more information on the ElectRA and RAstar series, please visit:


About HaiSea Marine

HaiSea Marine is a joint venture majority owned by the Haisla Nation in partnership with Seaspan ULC. Both partners have considerable experience and knowledge of operating in Northern British Columbia, making HaiSea a natural choice for providing responsible and dependable marine services in the region.

For more information, please contact:
Cherry DeGeer