Spanish towage group Boluda Towage Europe has received two newbuildings from Damen Shipyards in Belgium
Azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs VB Bolero and VB Rumba arrived in Zeebrugge, Belgium, where these tugs will support shipping at various terminals and docks.
These greener propulsion tugs arrived in Rotterdam on heavy lift ship Frauke after a voyage from the Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam at the end of November. They were then mobilised to begin operations in Zeebrugge in early December.
“I am delighted to welcome VB Bolero and VB Rumba in the Port of Zeebrugge, and I wish them and their crew fair winds and following seas," said Boluda Towage Europe chief executive Geert Vandecappelle. "The tugs will commence their towage activities services for Boluda Towage Europe in the Port of Zeebrugge as part of the extended five-year concession for towage services."
These Damen-designed tugs were built to a ASD 2813 design with 85 tonnes of bollard pull. Their propulsion includes selective catalytic reactors to remove NOx emissions and filters to prevent particulate matter, to comply with IMO Tier III requirements.
Boluda secured this five-year concession extension in September 2020 and committed to reducing emissions from harbour operations, upgrading existing tugs to IMO Tier III and introducing new tugs at these standards.
Ports increasingly require tug owners’ commitment to reduce harmful emissions in future concession and extension negotiations.
Port of Zeebrugge will now have efficient, smooth, and safe handling of shipping by eight powerful and modern tugboats certified with the highest fire-fighting standards and manned with a local crew.
Going forward, they will also have some of the lowest emissions of any tugs operating in Europe.
"We are happy to see VB Bolero and VB Rumba join the fleet of tug boats in the port of Zeebrugge." said Port of Zeebrugge chief executive Tom Hautekiet.
"As the port authority continues to implement its clean port strategy, sustainability is an essential part of the agreement with Boluda Towage Europe. We are proud to say that Zeebrugge has a powerful and green fleet of tugs, perfectly equipped for heavy towing operations and in compliance with the highest emission standards.”
Boluda retrofitted tug Union Koala to the IMO Tier III standards in 2019 and is retrofitting Union Panda this year. It will retrofit the rest of this Zeebrugge fleet in the first two years of the concession contract.
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