By Tom Peters

Atlantic Towing Limited of Saint John, N.B., has added a new state-of-the-art anchor-handling tug/supply vessel to its offshore supply fleet.

The new tug, named Atlantic Kestrel, is the largest vessel in the company’s fleet and was purchased from Jaya Shipbuilding and Engineering Pte Ltd. of Singapore. Atlantic Towing is expected to take delivery of the vessel on September 1.

The 85-metre tug, to be based in St. John’s, Nfld., is a Wartsila design and has 16,300 brake horsepower from its main engines. The new ship is Ice Class 1A giving it the ability to navigate in moderate ice conditions and Northern regions. Other features of the vessel include a 400-ton anchor-handling / towing winch; anchor-handling tools (centering devices, rail cranes); oil recovery capability and DP2 dynamic positioning system.

“This new vessel further enhances ATL’s fleet to service a growing number of offshore oil and gas projects,” said Wayne Power, Vice-President of Irving Transportation and Logistics. “The size and overall capability of this ship will enable Atlantic Towing to access new markets and continue to grow with its existing customers,” he said.

The vessel is capable of oil rig towing, positioning and anchor-handling, offshore oilfield supply, stand-by rescue and iceberg towing / ice management. The ship can carry large quantities of cargo to offshore installations with a large high-strength deck area, as well as a high volume of cargo tank space. New crews will be required for the ship’s operation, thus creating 24 new jobs.

Atlantic Towing is owned by the Irving Group, which has built several offshore supply vessels. An Irving spokesperson said Halifax Shipyard didn’t build this vessel for Atlantic Towing because the Halifax yard is fully allocated with work. “This new ship is immediately available, offers superior classifications and capabilities – especially as it relates to ice – and affords Atlantic Towing the ability to move immediately on new business development opportunities,” she said in an email.