The latest member of the Port Kembla shipping community has been celebrated.
The newest tugboat in Port Kembla, Svitzer Ruby was officially christened in a traditional maritime naming ceremony on Tuesday.
Acting Premier John Barilaro, also Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade, attended the event.
Mr Barilaro's wife Deanna acted as Svitzer Ruby's naming mother in the ceremony.
Svitzer Australia managing director Nicolaj Noes said they were pleased to play a role in diversifying the port with critical infrastructure and readying it for potential new gas imports.
"Svitzer Ruby will boost the capability of the port, assisting larger vessels to enter its waterways and playing a critical role in facilitating trade in NSW," he said.
"This new boat is about being a little ahead of the curve, and saying infrastructure is there to facilitate trade, not there to catch up when a trade is there."
Svitzer Ruby is named after Ruby Moore - a well-known local resident and Postmistress during the 1920s and 1930s.
The 85-tonne bollard pull tug was designed by Canadian firm, Robert Allan Ltd.
Svitzer Ruby is an escort towage capable vessel featuring a render recovery winch, FiFi1 class notation for firefighting, an Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) operational protection package and a rear winch for over the stern towing operations.
The new gas terminal would accommodate LNG carrier ships, a floating LNG handling facility, wharf infrastructure and a pipeline to connect to the existing NSW East Coast gas network nearby.
Mr Barilaro said Tuesday's event was the first step towards supporting LNG imports into NSW.
"This is an exciting first milestone," he said.
"The big plan here is the gas import terminal.
"I see today with the new Svitzer Ruby as the first milestone of that larger project... The idea of importing gas here in Port Kembla."
In April this year, planning approval was given for the $250 million Port Kembla Gas Terminal.
Read more: Planning approval given for $250 million Port Kembla Gas Terminal