Agreement Paves The Way For Escort Tugs, Oil Spill Response

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Kotug International’s Canadian joint venture will provide two escort tugs and an oil spill response vessel (OSRV) for an expanded tanker shipping route and terminal in British Columbia, reports Riviera.

About the deal

Kotug Canada, a partnership between Kotug International and Horizon Maritime Services, has signed a mutual benefits agreement (MBA) with indigenous community Sc’ianew First Nation to supply seafarer training and provide an operational base and floating docking facility.

This is all connected to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP), which will require two escort tugs and the emergency response vessel. Under the MBA, a floating docking facility will be installed in Cheanuh Marina in Beecher Bay, in Sc’ianew territory of British Columbia.

An existing barge will be refitted and converted to act as a breakwater and a berthing facility for Kotug Canada’s dedicated escort tugs and OSRV.

This response vessel is anchor-handling tug, supply ship KJ Gardner, which has 187 tonnes of bollard pull and is equipped for pollution clean-up, emergency towage and support duties.

The floating dock will be an operations base in Beecher Bay, which at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is strategically located along the Trans Mountain shipping lanes. This barge will also enhance Cheanuh Marina commercial activities within Sc’ianew territory.

The MBA includes training Sc’ianew community members in advanced safe tug operations and marine response.

Kotug Canada said the partnership provides vessel crews opportunities to learn from traditional knowledge and operate with respect and appreciation of the unique natural habitat of British Columbia’s coastal environment.

In preparation for the upcoming TMEP, Kotug Canada worked closely with the Beecher Bay community to create new career opportunities and train Sc’ianew marine cadets on other vessels. Some of the cadets trained on OSRV Horizon Arctic in the North Sea and will return home to join the crew of KJ Gardner.

“This partnership advances local career opportunities for indigenous seafarers,” said Kotug Canada director Steve Widmeyer. “Most importantly, it will give our crews a unique opportunity to learn traditional knowledge and operate with respect and appreciation for the natural habitat of British Columbia’s coastal environment.”

Sc’ianew First Nation has an important role as ocean protection advocates. “The MBA allows Sc’ianew First Nation to meet a broad range of objectives in relation to the changing reality of the west coast marine economy,” said Sc’ianew chief Russ Chipps.

“It allows our nation to fully participate in the growing economy within our traditional waters. It fits our vision to be a community providing economic opportunities through residential and commercial development, training and careers, while protecting the people’s lands, resources, language and cultural knowledge.”

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Source: Riviera