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BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty Joint Venture £2.3 million nautical investment

A photograph of one of the BMB Joint Venture tug boats on the River Thames

The BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall and Balfour Beatty joint venture (BMB) proudly showcased two specialist tug boats which have been procured to support the delivery of the west section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project.

Designed to be used on inland waterways, the two NavTug 18TS tugs perfectly suit the requirements for working on the River Thames. Key features include the ability to push and tow; adaptability to work with both low and high tides; a unique system that allows the wheel house to be raised and lowered to ensure clear visibility at all times; low emissions engines and low noise outputs.

Their maiden voyage took place this week when cabins were sailed 27.3 nautical miles up the River Thames from Tilbury Docks to the main drive site for Tideway West at Carnwath Road in Wandsworth which will be used for the site office set up.

The tugs will be used to haul barges up and down the Thames carrying materials to the work sites and assisting with the removal of spoil from the tunnel excavation. Enhancing the BMB ‘more by river’ strategy an average of two barges a day will access the main work site at Carnwath Road contributing to a reduction in lorry movements on the roads of South West London.

Chris Hughes, BMB Project Director said: “Our new tugs were chosen for their compatibility with the unique River Thames environment, and their high specification in terms of noise attenuation and emissions. The investment made by the joint venture in purchasing these tugs demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative sustainable transport solutions for this unique project”.

Initially they will be crewed by boat masters from our marine subcontractor Bennetts Barges but will also be used to support in-house training to develop the next generation of boat masters and senior mates for the River Thames.