CME Tested New Tug Model for Port of Corpus Christi

In 2019 and 2020, when MODA Ingleside Energy Center sought to expand berths for better accommodation of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) near Corpus Christi, TX, they enlisted SCI’s assistance for feasibility studies to thoroughly assess the project before implementation. Throughout this expansion, SCI’s Center for Maritime Education conducted three distinct tests. The initial two evaluated dock requirements, berth rendering, dredge profiles, and tug specifications for the terminal. The third study, commissioned by the Port of Corpus Christi, analyzed navigational and operational needs for tugboats in a deeper and wider Corpus Christi Ship Channel to safely escort VLCCs amidst existing maritime conditions and proposed environmental changes. Given the massive and less maneuverable nature of VLCCs, it became apparent that more powerful and agile tugboats were essential.

Signet Shipbuilding & Repair and Robert Allen designed the vessels and provided the Tug 53 simulator model to CME for critical testing, analyzing navigational and operational effectiveness within the channel and near berths. CME delivered its conclusions in the first quarter of 2022.

On January 8, 2024, Signet and Robert Allen announced the successful delivery of these new boats to the Port of Corpus Christi. Learn more about these remarkable vessels through Robert Allen and Workboat articles. At CME, we prioritize the safety of mariners, the boats and equipment they use, and the waterways they navigate. We are honored to have played a role in ensuring the safety of these vessels and are thrilled to witness the realization of these unique tugboats.

Simulator model showing Tug 53 simulator model guiding a VLCC in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.