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Tanker Shipping & Trade

Tanker Shipping & Trade

Texas City joins growing list of US crude oil export outlets

Thu 14 Jun 2018 by Craig Jallal, tankers and markets editor

Texas City joins growing list of US crude oil export outlets
Five Z-Tech tugs with a combined bollard pull of 330 tonnes position VLCC Nave Quasar during test berthing at Texas City (Photo credit: Robert Mihovil)

2010-built, 297,400 dwt Navios Maritime Acquisition-owned Nave Quasar was the first VLCC to successfully berth at Texas City. The trial run was conducted with the aid of five Robert Allan Ltd designed Z-Tech tugs.

The tanker test run adds Texas City to the growing list of US Gulf ports with a stake in exporting shale-derived crude oil. In February 2018, LOOP received its first VLCC to load crude oil.

This was followed by the export of a million barrels of US crude oil from Buckeye, Texas, loaded on the Suezmax Astra.

There has also been a test run at Brownsville, Texas, using 2003-built, 150,100 dwt Nordic Pollux, which, at the time, was the largest cargo tanker to ever call at Brownsville.

The Texas City operation required a flotilla of Suderman and Young Towing Company Z-Tech tugs, two Z-Tech 30-75 (Thor and Lamar) and three Z-Tech 24-60 escort tugs (Neptune, Oceanus and Poseidon), operated by G & H Towing of Galveston Texas.

The Z-Tech 24 design tugs are 24.4 m long, with a beam of 11.6 m. They are powered by two Caterpillar 3516C Tier 3 engines, producing 5,150 hp driving two Schottel Model SRP 1215FP with nozzle Z-Drives. They are classed by ABS for towing and escort services.

Additional power is produced from two John Deere 4145AFM85 diesel gen sets. Other key equipment includes a Markey Machinery Fairleader 50HP electric hawser winch, with a brake holding capacity of 136 tonnes.

The relationship between G & H Towing and Robert Allan Ltd started back in 2004, with design and construction of the first two Z-Tech 30-75 tugs, which where the first in the US and for G & H Towing.

Since then G & H Towing’s fleet of Z-Tech tugs has grown to 18 in operation and will soon grow to 26 Z-Tech tugs with the introduction of the new series of Z-Tech 30-80 series starting late 2018. These were ordered from Gulf Islands Shipyard in May 2017. When delivered, these will make G & H Towing the largest operator of Z-Tech series tugs in the world.

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