Foss leads the industry in technological innovation, problem solving and finding the right solution for the job.
Here are just a couple of our many innovative projects:
Historic Voyage to Revelstoke
Foss successfully pioneered a new commercial route deep into Canada on the Columbia River in 2009, navigating through strong currents and shallow water to safely deliver a 190-ton turbine for British Columbia’s largest hydro-electric dam.
In 2002, Foss became the first to use the upper Columbia for commercial navigation, demonstrating its ability to operate in extreme environments by towing a 135-ton turbine from Coulee City to Trail, B.C. just north of the boarder. The Revelstoke trip was about 155 miles farther upriver than previously traversed.
The voyage took a small convoy up Lake Roosevelt and then through the river to Northport. After crossing the border, the boats passed Waneta Dam, where the Pend Oreille river flows into the Columbia, then traveled stretches of the narrow river below, between and above the Arrow Lakes before arriving in Shelter Bay, where the turbine was unloaded at a ferry landing. It was carried from there over land to the hydro plant by a prime mover.
The tug skippers were in direct communication with B.C. Hydro representatives, who made the trip possible by regulating the flow of water through three dams above several critical areas to manipulate and minimize currents.
Later, B.C. Hydro helped the group through Tin Cup Rapids by increasing the flow of the Kootenay River. The Kootenay flows into the Columbia slightly downstream from the rapids, and increasing its volume had the effect of creating a dam, both deepening the water in the rapids and slowing it down.
The journey into Canada was the last leg of a long trip for the turbine. It was manufactured in Brazil and arrived by ship in Vancouver, Wash., and Foss towed it aboard the barge 185 C-3 to Pasco with the tug Lewiston. From there, a Prime Mover moved it over land to Coulee City.
World’s First Open Lighterage at Red Dog Mine
Since 1990, Foss has transported tens of millions of tons of concentrated ore for Red Dog Mine – a zinc mine 200 miles north of Arctic Circle. We developed customized self-unloading barges to transfer the ore to bulk carriers from the shallow-draft port. Foss developed the world’s first open-roadstead loading of dry bulk cargo to enable loading, even in the challenging weather, during the 90-100-day season.