Rotterdam’s towage and maritime service operator KOTUG has acquired Kotug Seabulk Maritime LLC (KSM) taking full ownership of the Caribbean marine towage business.

KOTUG, with a fleet of more than 70 tugs and barges, acquired the interest of its joint venture partner, SEACOR Holdings via its Seabulk subsidiary KS Maritime Holdings LLC, owner of the 50% share in KSM.

KSM, founded in 2017, has been the exclusive provider of maritime terminal support services for Buckeye Partners’ Bahamas Hub, which includes launch and line handling services.

Buckeye Partners, one of the largest independent operators of liquid petroleum products pipelines and terminals in the United States, holds the sole operating license for all bunkering operations in Freeport harbor.

KSM deploys four tugboats, a line handler, a crew tender launch and a bunker barge to execute all terminal towage operations, including bunker barge assistance.

The tug fleet consists of two Rotortugs, the RT Blackbeard and RT Raptor and two Stern Drives, SD Calypso and SD Junkanoo.

“Together with Seabulk, we have developed KSM into a renowned, leading towage brand in the Caribbean,” said Ard-Jan Kooren, chief executive of KOTUG.

“We are excited to take full ownership of the business and to continue offering essential support to Buckeye Partners Freeport operations for many years to come, with one of the region’s most modern and sophisticated fleets. Our operations are supported by an excellent team, with more than 93% of the staff being Bahamians, both in our offices and on board.”

Dan Thorogood, chief executive of Seabulk, also voiced his optimism about the transaction.

“This is an extremely positive outcome. Over the course of our decade-plus relationship, we not only integrated the proprietary Rotortug vessel into the KSM JV but also into the formerly owned Seabulk US-flag harbor towing fleet. KOTUG is a leader in towing innovation, and I can confidently say they are uniquely suited to carry the business forward and ensure the continuation of high-quality, customer-centric operations,” Thorogood said.