Freeport Towage Joint Venture Fully Owned by KOTUG

Tugboat at sunset
Updated Published

KOTUG International, a Dutch towing company, has taken complete control of its joint venture in Freeport, Bahamas, previously shared with SEACOR Holdings, by acquiring the remaining 50% interest from SEACOR's Seabulk subsidiary, KS Maritime Holdings LLC.

Established in 1911, KOTUG is a family-run business with a fleet exceeding 70 tugboats and barges. It offers diverse services in towing, subsea operations, and other marine areas worldwide.

Since its inception in 2017, KSM has exclusively provided maritime terminal support services, such as launch and line handling, to the Bahamas Hub of Buckeye Partners. Buckeye Partners is among the major independent managers of liquid petroleum product pipelines and terminals in the U.S., holding the exclusive license for all bunkering activities in Freeport's harbor. With this acquisition, KOTUG assumes sole control over these operations.

Ard-Jan Kooren, KOTUG's CEO, remarked on the joint venture's evolution into a prominent towage name in the Caribbean and expressed enthusiasm about owning the business entirely. He highlighted the intention to sustain the essential support services for Buckeye Partners' operations in Freeport, leveraging a modern and sophisticated fleet. Kooren also praised the local team's contribution, noting that over 93% of the staff, including those in office and on vessels, are Bahamians.

Seabulk's CEO, Dan Thorogood, shared his positive view on the deal, reflecting on the beneficial partnership over the years. He emphasized the integration of the Rotortug vessel into both the KSM joint venture and Seabulk's U.S.-flagged harbor towing fleet. Thorogood commended KOTUG for its leadership in towing innovation and expressed confidence in the company's capability to advance the business while maintaining high-quality, customer-focused services.