Bilbao, Spain (PortSEurope) July 31, 2020 – The tugboat, Ibaizabal Quince, powered by LNG and diesel, is officially part of the fleet, providing the towage service in the Port of Bilbao, after the christening and blessing ceremony that took in the presence of Ms. Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development and Infrastructure of the Regional Basque Government. The innovative design, the first dual-propulsion vessel to
be built in Spain, represent a major feat of engineering and an important step forward in the construction of ever more sustainable vessels. The vessel is owned by the company Remolcadores Ibaizabal SA, which holds the licence to provide the towage service in the Port of Bilbao. The construction of this vessel, in the Astilleros Murueta shipyards, forms part of the investment plan of Remolcadores Ibaizabal in terms of fleet renewal, innovation and modernisation, in compliance with the current specifications governing the service. The tugboat is 28 metres long, 12 metres wide, has a gross registered tonnage of 397 GT, a draught capacity of 55 tonnes and can reach a speed of up to 12 knots. The vessel, equipped to run on LNG, makes an example of the use of clean energy for transport and the environment, as promoted by the EU. In a related issue, Remolcadores Ibaizabal, Astilleros Murueta, the Port Authority of Bilbao, Puertos del Estado, Enagas and the Basque Government are all present in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Call 2014 F02, of the CORE LNG as Hive project, which aims to contribute to the decarbonisation of the European corridors of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. The new tugboat is the result of a joint proposal by EVE and Ibaizabal, coordinated by Enagas as part of this programme and is the first of its kind in Spain. The Basque Country has already led three EC-funded LNG implementation projects in the maritime sector, all of which have enabled it to acquire a high degree of technological know-how and specialisation in this area and to position the region as a leader in this field worldwide. These projects are the adaptation of the jetty of the Bahía de Bizkaia Gas regasification plant, the launch of an LNG supply vessel for a ship-to-ship bunkering service and the construction and commissioning of a natural gas-powered tugboat. Source: Autoridad Portuaria de Bilbao (APB – Port Authority of Bilbao) Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2020.