ONE of the divisions of Teesside engineering group Tees Components has won a major contract to supply its thruster technology to a pair of oceanographic vessels in Houma, Louisiana.

Tees White Gill will supply 50 Thruster models to Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors as part of a four-year contract with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

TWG will fabricate and machine the 10-tonne, 3.4-metre-tall thrusters’ main components in-house, along with assembling, testing and commissioning them

Operating as a slow speed propulsion system, working with main propulsion or to provide an additional braking, the thrusters enable highly accurate manoeuvring and positioning, even in challenging marine conditions.

The vessels are part of an upgrading of NOAA’s aging fleet of research ships. Thoma-Sea is undertaking the design and construction of the ships following a contract award from the US Navy.

Oceanographer and Discoverer will support a wide variety of missions, ranging from general oceanographic research and exploration to marine life, climate, and ocean ecosystem studies. These missions include shallow coastal, continental shelf, and worldwide ocean survey and data collection.

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Adam Robson, technical manager at Tees White Gill, said: “This is a major project for TWG and demonstrates the expertise and experience we have in the sector to secure the contract with our new customer, Thoma-Sea. We’re looking forward to collaborating closely with the shipbuilder and contributing to the construction of these high-profile and ecologically-important vessels.”

Sharon Lane, managing director of Tees Components, said: “Since we acquired the White Gill intellectual property in 2005, we have established a strong niche in the marine thruster market for our specialist and highly innovative technology.

“This project builds on our track record for the design, manufacture and commissioning of thrusters for oceanographic vessels and continues North East England’s world-renowned legacy in the marine industry.

“Having supplied our thrusters to the iconic arctic research vessel, the RSS Sir David Attenborough, which is about embark on its first research mission, we are incredibly proud to continue to support vital environmental projects with the awarding of this contract with Thoma-Sea for the NOAA.”


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