Crescent Towing has begun construction of a new 6,000-hp, Tier 4 z-drive tugboat at Blakeley BoatWorks in Mobile, Al., that will immediately join its Mississippi River ship-assist fleet of tugs, when completed.
This new escort towing vessel was designed by Crowley Engineering Services and will be 92 feet long, 38 feet wide and draw 19 feet. The tugboat will be powered by a pair of Caterpillar 3516E Tier 4 engines, each producing 3,004 hp to power Kongsberg™ 255 fixed-pitch z-drives.
The new boat, to be named at a later date, is the fifth Crescent Towing escort tug built to the specifications of a design provided by Crowley.
“Blakeley BoatWorks is honored to partner with Crescent Towing and Crowley Engineering Services to design and construct the second of a series of 6,000-hp tugboats,” said Swathin Kannalath, managing director of Blakeley BoatWorks. “The opportunity to construct one of the largest and most advanced tugboats operating on the Mississippi River creates a great amount of excitement for our entire team.
The addition of the new tug to the Crescent fleet “provides our team with another incredible tool to continue to offer the safest and most reliable towing services on the Mississippi River,” said Keith Kettenring, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Crescent Towing.
Late last year, Crescent Towing announced plans to replace the diesel-powered engines on ten tugboats in its fleet.
Tugboats Alabama, Angus R. Cooper, Ervin S. Cooper, G. Shelby Friedrichs, Louisiana, Margaret F. Cooper, Miriam W. Cooper, Mississippi, New Orleans, and Texas were slated to be upgraded. The boats operate in Orleans Parish and provide ship escort, docking, and undocking from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, La.
The air pollution reduction project is being completed in partnership with Environmental Initiative, a national nonprofit organization that has been cleaning up diesel vehicles since 2005.
“Crescent Towing is a strong proponent of environmental safety and responsibility,” said Kettenring of the re-engine plan. “We’re grateful to Environmental Initiative for partnering with us on this project. These new engines will greatly reduce diesel air emissions and make strides to improve public health in the near-port community.”
“The Port of New Orleans applauds Crescent Towing’s partnership with the Environmental Initiative to reduce tugboat emissions,” said Port NOLA President and CEO, Brandy D. Christian at the time of the announcement.
“As a certified member of Green Marine, Port NOLA has captured tremendous momentum with our Clean Truck Replacement Incentive Program. This clean diesel initiative contributes to our local maritime industry’s continued commitment to reduce the environmental footprint,” said Christian.
The Environmental Initiative project is being funded through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 6 Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant. Crescent Towing is also investing their own capital in the project as part of federal grant cost share agreements.