Customer Stories

MTU Engines Power New Generation of Tugs for Foss Maritime

Among the list of performance standards Foss Maritime wanted from a new series of 90-short ton bollard tugs it was adding to its fleet was a propulsion system capable of meeting strict emission standards.

Our marine team was able to deliver on Foss Maritime’s needs by outfitting each of the  four new tugs with two MTU 16v4000M65L engines and a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system.

“It took a lot of design work from our team to get the right SCR configuration,” said Doug Schwedland, PPG’s vice president of the marine division. “This complete system integration will give Foss extremely efficient and environmentally compliant tugs.”

The Build

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, Washington, has set an aggressive time table to deliver the multifunctional 100-foot by 40-foot tugs designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants. Each vessel has the ability to handle ship assists, escorts, towing and fighting fires.

The tugs will ultimately be deployed to Foss Maritime’s West Coast fleet.


Along with the MTU engines, the propulsion system includes Kongsberg US255 azimuth thrusters, which allow for 360-degree rotation. This provides the maneuverability required in ship assist and escort work.

MTU’s legacy

Tug companies have come to rely on MTU engines because of the fast load acceptance and high torque levels that make towing vessels agile and safe while providing durability proven in years of use in high load applications.

Nichols Brothers expects to deliver the first four tugs in 2020 and has an option from Foss to build an additional six tugs. Foss is focused on an aggressive schedule to complement its fleet with a new generation of tugs that are built to meet increasing environmental regulations in the marine industry.

“The new tugs are designed to upgrade our fleet and improve the company’s ability to provide timely harbor and port services to a variety of customers,” John Parrott, president and CEO of Foss Maritime, said in a company press release. “By offering lower maintenance down time, greater operating efficiencies and lower emissions, these new tugs help expand our nearshore and offshore capabilities.”