Kitimat Marine Base for World’s First Fully Electric Tugs

Owner: LNG Canada Development Inc.   |   Client: Bridgemans Kitimaat Joint Venture  |  Kitimat, BC


About the Project

Bridgemans Kitimaat Joint Venture (BKJV) and HaiSea Marine, both joint venture companies with the Haisla Nation, were engaged by LNG Canada Development Inc. to design and construct a marine base in Kitimat, BC, for dual-fuel escort tugs and the world’s first fully electric harbour tugs.

The purpose of the facility is to moor and charge the electric harbour tugs, which will safely berth LNG carriers at the LNG Canada marine terminal in Kitimat Harbour. With an ample supply of clean hydroelectric power in Kitimat, the electric harbour tugs will be able to recharge from dedicated charging facilities at their berths while docked, effectively resulting in near-zero emissions when running on batteries. The facility will also moor the dual-fuel escort tugs that will safely guide LNG carriers between Kitimat Harbour and the open ocean. Overall GHG emissions from the new harbour and escort tugs are expected to be significantly lower (54% and 24%, respectively) than diesel-powered alternatives.

The facility is located on the site of a former deep-sea bulk liquids terminal, which was partially re-used as part of the new facility’s infrastructure. The marine base consists of four connected floating concrete docks moored in place with steel piles, a floating maintenance building, and access walkways connecting the new floating components to the existing legacy marine structures and the shoreline. The docks and maintenance building are protected by a new floating breakwater held in place with an innovative application of offshore drag anchors.

This successful project is an example of British Columbia First Nations leading a ‘built-by-BC’ EPC team contracted directly to a major energy provider in LNG Canada. The Haisla-led EPC team, tug facility operator, and the manufacturing capacity of the Wei Wai Kum delivered an on-time and on-budget facility that enables a more sustainable operational footprint by significantly reducing GHG emissions.


This project utilized an accelerated design-build format that required design, procurement, installation, and completion within one year. The design and construction teams used a mix of self-performed engineering design for on-site works with design-build procurement packages for offsite fabrication to meet the aggressive schedule.

Partners for both design and design construction services were selected based on available local resources, with a focus on First Nations participation. Design services provided by Qooluun Allnorth represented a mix of both First Nations and northern BC capacity to service the Kitimat project. The design and construction of the tug berths also integrated the HaiSea Marine’s floating Kitimat Maintenance Facility (KMF) and the tug charging equipment. Early engagement was critical for successful alignment of these project components.

Design activities were managed to enable construction sequencing of major in-water works to limit impacts on the local eulachon fish windows, observing the cultural sensitivity and importance of the resource to the region. Manufacturing schedules coordinated both the completion of the floating HaiSea Marine KMF as well as the tug floats and breakwater at the Wei Wai Kum First Nation Pacific Marine Construction facility. Installation of the floating elements took place in late fall of 2023, typically an unpredictable period for weather and marine construction on the northern BC coast.


BKJV and HaiSea Marine were able to efficiently interface design teams from the marine facility, vessel manufacturer, and landside utilities provider to deliver a complete marine facility in under 350 days. Exceptional coordination between all parties was combined with innovative engineering solutions including floating structures, drag anchors, and use of the largest heavy lift marine crane in BC to meet the fast-track schedule despite challenging site conditions and narrow fisheries windows.

Service(s) Provided
Detailed Design
Procurement Support
Field Support

Project Team (Consultants)
HaiSea Marine
Herold Engineering
Qooluun Allnorth Consultants
CMO Consultants
3GA Marine
Capilano Maritime Design
Higher Ground Consultants

Project Team (Contractors)
Pacific Marine Construction
Dynamic Installations
Broadwater Industries


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