PCA Invests in New Tugs for Post-Panamax Era (USA)

The Panama Canal Authority is investing in very powerful tugs for the Post-Panamax era.

14 tractor tugs and 13 ASD tugs with SCHOTTEL propulsion systems were commissioned in the last four years. The youngest generation of 14 tractor tugs delivered by Astilleros Armon Shipyard was recently completed.

The fleet for a safe passage

One tug after another started in Spain and traveled the high seas for about a month, on their own and under their own power. They have a bollard pull of 85 tons. With a length of 28.90 meters and a width of 13.50 meters, they are a good deal larger than the ASD tugs.

Two SCHOTTEL SRP 2020 Rudderpropellers (each with 2,330 kW of input power) drive each tug. The tugs, which are named after mountains in Panama (Cerro Itamut, Cerro Picacho etc.), will take the place of locomotives at the new Atlantic locks.

13 ASD tugs from Cheoy Lee shipyard in Hong Kong were delivered before – all of this generation named after Panamanian rivers. The first vessel to arrive in Panama was the Calovébora in 2010, the others followed in intervals of six weeks. The tugs needed just over two months for the 9,700 miles, with a stop in Honolulu to refuel.

The 27.40 meters long and 12.20 meters wide ships with a bollard pull of about 65 tons were built according to Robert Allan’s Z-Tech 6500 design. Each tug is driven by two SCHOTTEL SRP 1515 Rudderpropellers, with an input power of 2,180 kW each.

Four more ASD tugs with two SCHOTTEL SRP 1212 Rudderpropellers each have already been in service on the canal since 2001. Older models have been replaced in the course of modernizing the fleet.

Crossing the Canal with SCHOTTEL

The 5 de Noviembre ferry is another modern ship with a SCHOTTEL propulsion system engaged on the Panama Canal. The double-ended ferry is in service at the Gatun locks. Whereas vehicles used to have to wait at a narrow bridge for 45 minutes, today they only need three minutes to make the crossing. The ferry, which was also built in the Cheoy Lee/Hin Lee shipyard, is 42 meters long and 14 meters wide, with space for 24 trucks and 20 passengers. Two SRP 170 Rudderpropellers permit a cruising speed of 8 knots when the ferry is fully laden.

Ral, February 28, 2014

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