Wabtec, Marinsa partner to power Panama Canal tugs

Tug activity at the Panama Canal’s Gatun Locks. Wabtec and Marinsa International have contracted with the Panama Canal Authority to supply the propulsion systems for 10 new hybrid tractor tugs.

Wabtec Corporation and Latin American channel partner Marinsa International, has contracted to supply the primary power for 10 new hybrid tractor tugboats for the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). 

Under the contract, Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Wabtec will deliver two 8L250MDA marine engines for each tugboat. The marine engines will provide maximum availability with the lowest life-cycle cost for the vessel operators.

“Wabtec is delighted to power the new hybrid Panama Canal tugs with the 8L250MDA marine engines,” said Tammy Gromacki, Wabtec’s vice president of marine, stationary and drill. “We are honored, through our partnership with Marinsa, to continue serving this important customer and the critical role they provide in facilitating world trade.”

The 98-foot tugboats will have hybrid-electric propulsion to reduce emissions from ship towage while docking in Panamanian ports and through the canal. 

The new 8L250MDA main engines are ABS classed and meet IMO Tier 2 emissions standards. The engines have an operating span of approximately 60,000 hours before requiring overhaul, if the maintenance schedule is followed.

“We take great pride in being the longest operating channel partner of Wabtec marine engines, a testament to our enduring commitment to excellence and innovation in maritime solutions,” said Adrian Walchli, president of Miami, Fla.-headquartered Marinsa International. 

“As we embark on this exciting journey, Marinsa is fully committed to providing unwavering service support throughout the construction phase at the shipyard and extending our dedication to the upcoming fleet in Panama,” he added.

The tugboats will be owned and operated by the ACP, and built at Astilleros Armón shipyard in Navia, Spain. 

Marinsa will support the installation and commissioning in Spain, along with the service support of the operating fleet in Panama. 

The engines will be manufactured at the Wabtec Corp. facility in Grove City, Pa. The contract marks the fourth order of Wabtec marine diesel engines to power the ACP fleet.

Wabtec is a provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and value-added services for industrial and marine transportation markets. 

Established in 1981, Marinsa International Inc. is a supplier of medium-speed diesel propulsion engines for tugboats, supply vessels, tuna, sardine purse seiners, and other vessels.