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Friday, February 8, 2019 

Canadian naval architects Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) has announced that Gulf Island Shipyards has completed the first of ten Z-Tech 30-80 tugs, five of which were ordered by Bay Houston Towing Company through its operator G & H Towing Company of Galveston, Texas.

The Z-Tech 30-80 tug Mark E. Kuebler has evolved from the previous Z-Tech 7500 design for the same owner. RAL and the client worked together to address the operational challenges the vessel will face. A main feature of this latest Z-Tech is incorporating RAL's RAstar series sponsoned hull form into the existing Z-Tech design. Computer simulations conducted by RAL's CFD team demonstrate escort performance of the new tug will be significantly increased by generating more than 100 mt steering force at 10 knots which is particularly important for escorting large vessels.

The tugs were designed and constructed to comply with ABS Rules ABS ✠A1 Towing Service, ✠ AMS, Escort Service, Fire Fighting Vessel Class 1 and all applicable U.S. Coast Guard regulations On sea trials, the Mark E. Kuebler recorded bollard pull ahead of 81.5 mt and free running speed ahead of 13 knots.

Main propulsion for the tug comprises a pair of Caterpillar 3516E, EPA Tier 4 certified diesel engines, each rated 3386 bhp at 1800 rpm, and driving a Schottel SRP 510FP Z-drive unit with 2.8m dia propeller. The tug is fitted with a Fire Fighting 1 system with two FFS 6200 gpm pumps driven by two Caterpillar C18 engines. The electrical plant consists of two identical John Deere 6068AFM85 diesel gen-sets, each with a power output of 125 eKw 480V, 3-Ph, 60 Hz.

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