In another sign of how quick commerce is growing in the Arctic, Seattle-based Foss Maritime Co. will add three new Arctic class tugs to its fleet, broadening the company's capacity to handle oil and gas projects in the region.
Construction of the first tug is to start early in 2013 at Ross' Rainier Shipyard in Oregon.
The new tugs are designed to withstand the rigors of Arctic operations, said Gary Faber, president and chief operating officer. The new tugs will meet American Bureau of Shipping's A1 standards for hulls, machinery, towing, anchors and cable as well as ice class requirements. They will also meet requirements for the international Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and Green Passport, which requires an inventory of shipboard hazardous materials that makes decommissioning of the vessels far safer.
Foss already has ships at work in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Faber said Foss will now be able to provide tugs, landing craft, crew boats and barges for oil and gas customers in the region.