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Atlantic Towing Limited has been awarded over $4.9 million through Petroleum Research Newfoundland & Labrador (PRNL), following an official announcement and virtual press event on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The non-repayable funding for the project will come from the offshore research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) component of Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). PRNL is delivering the offshore RD&D component of the ERF program. The funding will support pioneering upgrades to one of the company’s Platform Supply Vessels, and allow the integration of battery systems into the vessel’s existing diesel-electric propulsion plant. Atlantic Towing is the first to implement this multiple mode application of battery technologies on a single vessel in the Canadian Offshore Oil and Gas Industry.

The Atlantic Shrike, a PSV 5000 constructed in 2017, will receive the upgrades. This ship is based in Atlantic Towing’s homeport of St. John’s NL, and is one of the four modern diesel-electric vessels built by Atlantic Towing.

“As Canada’s leading Offshore marine service provider, we are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. This award will have a significant impact in allowing us to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” said Sheldon Lace, Offshore Business Director with Atlantic Towing. “The proposed retrofit represents a novel approach for the Offshore industry. This project combines battery technology that has enabled carbon-free, all-electric operation with a battery-hybrid drive train.”

Following the vessel improvements, Atlantic Towing anticipates reducing the Greenhouse Gas output of the Atlantic Shrike by up to 800 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

“Moving towards new sustainable transportation technologies and processes which lower the carbon footprint in all our businesses is a fundamental part of our long-term strategy. This project, which allows us to implement battery technology on one of our PSV’s, is an important step for us,” said Wayne Power, Group Vice President of J.D. Irving, Limited’s Transportation and Logistics Division, of which Atlantic Towing is a member. “It is also an important step for the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry in Atlantic Canada.”

The nearly $5 million in funding provided by PRNL is part of the larger Natural Resources Canada Emissions Reduction Fund Offshore RD&D Program, a $33 million investment supporting research, development and demonstration projects that advance solutions to decarbonize Newfoundland and Labrador’s Offshore industry. Atlantic Towing responded to a call for proposals issued by PRNL in December 2020, and was among several funding recipients announced on May 5.

“Transportation of supplies and provision of offshore support are essential to our offshore operations. Reducing emissions from offshore vessels through technical innovation like this will go directly toward reducing the carbon footprint of our offshore” said Dave Finn, CEO, Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador.

Atlantic Towing looks forward to completing this exciting project and continues to show leadership in the Offshore Oil and Gas sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.