Propulsion systems are being delivered for a series of harbour tugs under construction at Uzmar Shipyards in Turkey
Steerprop is producing six of its Z-drive azimuth propulsion units, two each for tugs being built to Robert Allan Ltd’s RAmparts 2300 UZM design. Each of these tugs will have two SP 20 WD azimuth propulsion units, each delivering 1,610 kW of power.
Steerprop sales manager Donato Agostinelli said the contract for these Z-drives was signed in April 2021 and they will be delivered in Q3 2021. “The Robert Allan-designed RAmparts 2300 UZM tugs with over 50 tonnes of bollard pull are very efficient and agile tugs, providing a lot of performance in a compact package,” said Mr Agostinelli.
“Since the tugs will be operating in challenging conditions and performing very different tasks throughout their life, the propulsion units must be efficient and reliable under all circumstances.
“For these reasons, the units also come with our condition monitoring system as standard.”
The azimuth propulsors have electrical steering to increase the achieved bollard pull and to improve the manoeuvrability of the tugboat enabling more efficient use of the main engine’s power compared with hydraulic steering.
“The agile electrical steering system in our Z-drive azimuth propulsion increases overall performance and reduces the running costs of the vessels,” said Mr Agostinelli.
“The electrical system can also be upgraded with a battery pack to enhance performance even further, while at the same time lowering the environmental footprint of the system.”
Electric steering gears offer a constant steering speed, which is important when performing sensitive tasks, such as escorting tankers.
“Since the steering uses power only when actively turning, it is very energy-efficient,” said Mr Agostinelli. “In addition, the electrical steering also produces significantly less noise than hydraulic steering systems and requires little service due to its mechanically simple construction.”
Mr Agostinelli expects this award will enable Steerprop to gain more contracts in the tugboat propulsion market. “We think this is a great reference to make a re-entry in a segment that is not new to us, but in which we have not been present for a while,” he said.
RAmparts tug class is a popular and widely used type in the world, due to its flexible design for different configurations and applications.
Steerprop’s W Series is a modular and scalable propulsion line with a power range from 900 to 7,000 kW. Propulsion units can have open or ducted propellers and can be delivered with a Z-drive or L-drive configuration. They comply with the rules of all major classification societies.
Uzmar was the first private-authorised pilotage and towage company in Turkey. In 1996, it began building tugboats for its own fleet. Today, Uzmar annually conducts more than 30,000 ship manoeuvres and builds a wide range of different tugboats for other owners.
On 17 August, Uzmar launched the second of three azimuth stern drive escort tugs it is building for Smit Lamnalco’s operations in east Africa. These 42-m tugs are being built to Robert Allan’s RAstar 4200 design and Bureau Veritas class to support gas carriers at an LNG terminal under construction in Mozambique.
They will provide services for the Coral South floating liquefied natural gas project from Q2 2022.