HaiSea Marine announced the signing of a contract award with LNG Canada to design, build and operate escort and harbor tugs required for LNG Canada’s LNG export facility in Kitimat, British Columbia.

The value of the contract award is approximately $500 million over 12 years and will result in employment for approximately 70 mariners and six onshore staff, plus other roles for employees of the partner organizations.

“HaiSea Marine is majority-owned by the Haisla,” says Crystal Smith, Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation. “Our agreement with Seaspan ensures our members will have access to employment, training and procurement opportunities on the contract with LNG Canada. The opportunity to work locally in the marine industry is of great significance to the Haisla people.”

The harbour tugs will assist with berthing and unberthing to LNG carriers during operations in Kitimat. They will also provide transportation of material and personnel, marine emergency response, firefighting and oil pollution response. Escort tugs are required to escort LNG carriers from Triple Island to the facility in Kitimat, approximately 159 nautical miles.

One or two escort tugboats would guide each tanker for 159-mile voyages to the LNG terminal near Kitimat from BC’s Pacific coast. The project plan calls for four harbor tugs to nudge the tankers into and out of LNG loading berths at two docks capable of handling ships up to 1,100 feet long.

The new Kitimat tugboat fleet is forecast to employ 70 mariners and six onshore staff.

The service contract calls for the tugboats to be built by Vancouver marine architectural firm Robert Allan Ltd. by the time LNG Canada goes into operation in the mid-2020s.