Shipyards such as Jiangsu Zhenjiang, Sanlin and Rizhao Gangda are building powerful tugs for expanding domestic ports
Chinese shipyards have increased deliveries of azimuth stern drive (ASD) harbour tugs as domestic ports expand and calls by larger ships increase.
Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard is a leader in constructing harbour tugs for Chinese ports and operators, while Sanlin Shipyard and Rizhao Gangda Shipbuilding Heavy Industries also build tugboats for domestic use. In addition, Damen Shipyards and Cheoy Lee Shipyards build tugs for export markets in China.
Zhenjiang Shipyard in Jiangsu Province delivered four tugs and Sanlin Shipyard delivered another in January 2021.
This followed a series of tug deliveries in December 2020, highlighting the productivity of Chinese shipyards. On 16 January, Zhenjiang Shipyard delivered two ASD tugs with fire-fighting capabilities to an unnamed operator. Each vessel has a total power of 3,676 kW providing a bollard pull of 61 tonnes ahead and 54.4 tonnes astern, and a top speed of 14.25 knots. These 36.5-m tugs have a beam of 10.4 m, hull depth of 4.8 m and fuel capacity to operate up to 1,000 nautical miles.
They were delivered a week after the shipyard delivered two ASD tugs for Zhoushan Gangxing on 9 January. These 39.9-m tugs, Gang Xing Tuo 235 and 236 each have 2,942 kW of power and a beam of 10.4 m. They have a top speed of 13.1 knots, bollard pull astern of 51.8 tonnes, ahead of 46.3 tonnes and endurance of 1,000 nautical miles.
Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard builds tugboats with larger deck space fore and aft for machinery and storage, as demonstrated by its delivery on 30 December 2020.
Owner Yangzhou received Zhou Gang Tuo 4001, with 2,942 kW of power and overall length of 39.7 m. This tug has a beam of 10 m, depth of 4.5 m and top speed of 13.3 knots. It has a forward bollard pull of 46.5 tonnes and astern of 51.4 tonnes. But it has a lower fuel tank capacity, as it has endurance of 700 nautical miles. This tug was delivered just two days after a similar ASD tugboat was completed, Zhou Gang Tuo 4006, on 28 December.
Shanghai Harbour Fuxing Shipping Service’s Sanlin Shipyard completed a 32-m tug at the start of 2021 for its own requirements. The shipyard used a Robert Allan RAmparts 3200-W design for tug Hai Gang 501, which will provide service at Shanghai Port. This tug was built for berthing and unberthing large vessels in harbour and coastal towage. It has a bollard pull of 68.2 tonnes and a top speed of 13.3 knots from two Niigata 6L28HX main engines, each rated at 1,840 kW at 750 rpm. These drive a cardan shaft system to a Niigata ZP-41A Z-Peller propulsion unit with a 260 cm diameter fixed pitch propeller.
Hai Gang 501 has accommodation for up to 10 people, China Classification Society (CCS) notation for fire-fighting FiFi1 and an integrated bridge system. This 498-gt tug has a Karmoy hawser winch on the bow deck, spooled with 250 m of line on each drum. There is a twin anchor windlass at the bow beside the hawser winch and a Karmoy towing winch on the aft deck.
Ship handling fenders at the bow consist of an upper 800 x 400 mm cylindrical fendering with a lower course of W-type fenders. A 300 x 300 hollow D-shaped fender provides protection at the main deck sheer line and along the knuckle, and a W-type fender is used at the stern.
Sanlin Shipyard has built more than 10 tugboats to Robert Allan designs for its domestic and international clients. Two of these were Jin Gang Lun 33 and 34 delivered in 2020 with new CCS notation denoting their intelligent online systems. Both tugs were delivered to Tianjin Port with ice breaking, emergency response and fire-fighting capabilities.
During sea trials, these 34.6-m tugs achieved a maximum bollard pull ahead of 51 tonnes and free running speed ahead of 13 knots. They each have two Daihatsu diesel engines, each rated for 1,471 kW at 750 rpm driving Kawasaki KST-180ZF/E Z-drive units with a 220 cm diameter propeller.
Their CCS class notations are for coastal services, ice class B and Rules for Intelligent Ships. This I-ship consists of N – intelligent navigation; M – intelligent machinery; E – intelligent energy efficiency management; and I – intelligent integrity platform.
Rizhao Gangda Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co has started constructing an ASD tug for its related towing company Rizhao Towing and Barge Co to Robert Allan’s ASD 34/60 design.
This 495-gt vessel is designed to operate in shallow waters, with a navigational draft of 4.61 m, in Shandong Port, China. The 34.3 m tugboat will have a bollard pull astern of around 50 tonnes, a moulded beam of around 11.2 m and free running speed of around 13 knots.
Robert Allan says the ASD 34/60 tug is custom-designed to operate in the coastal waters of China. It will be built to berth and unberth large ships, especially for vessels with low freeboard where the height of the tug’s contact point with the assisted ship maybe a concern.
In other Chinese construction, Jiangsu Zhenjiang laid the keel of a new ASD tug for an unnamed domestic owner on 15 January. This tugboat will be built with total power of 3,676 kW and a FiFi1 fire-fighting system.
That followed steel cutting of another ASD tugboat on 29 December 2020, an 8000PS tug with a FiFi1 fire-fighting system, built for Shenzhen Yantian Tugboat Co.
On 25 December, Zhenjiang Shipyard in Jiangsu province launched an ASD tug for Tianjin South Port Shipping Co. Nan Gang Tuo 9 will have power of 3,824 kW when it is delivered later in 2021.
Japanese shipyards deliver domestic tugs
Japanese shipyards have been busy completing tug newbuildings for domestic owners and international business in 2020.
Kanagawa Zosen completed four tugs for Japanese owners - Bandai Maru, Kasuga Maru, Kazasi Maru and Tsushima Maru. In addition, Shin-Nippon Kaiyosha built Isumi Maru for Keihin Dock Co.
For international business, Kanagawa Dockyard Co is building a series of harbour tugs for Adani Group’s operations in India. This group has introduced four new harbour tugs to its fleet as it expands towage capabilities in India.
Adani has a series of 13 Z-drive tugs on order at Kanagawa, with the latest, Dolphin 29, delivered to Adani Vizhinjam Port. Nine of the 13 tugs are still to be completed, with six scheduled to be delivered to Adani by the end of 2021 and the other three in 2022.
These 34.5-m Dolphin tugs are built for towing and mooring ships in India’s ports and terminals with 55 tonnes of bollard pull derived from a pair of diesel propulsion engines, driving two Z-drive propellers. Z drives provide 360º manoeuvrability for rapid changes in thrust azimuth and tug direction. All are built to Indian Register of Shipping requirements.
Also in Japan, two tugs were sold by owners to Sriracha Tugboat Co and transferred to Thailand. 1990-built Niihama Maru was sold by Sumiko Butsuryu and renamed Sriracha 38; then 1989-built Soya was sold and renamed Sriracha 39.
Other tugs transferred ownership but remained in Japan. 1995-built Akemi Maru was renamed Aoba Maru by Kaiho Kaiji, 1996-built tug Dairyu Maru was renamed Hososhima 2 by Fukushima Kaiun.
Nihon Tug-Boat, which took delivery of Tsushima Maru in 2020, has been using LNG-fuelled tug Ishin in Osaka Bay and the Seto Inland Sea since March 2020.
In South Korea, 1997-built tug Buk Cheon Ho was sold in 2020 to Sin Hu, Gyeongsangnam-do by Aju Development Co and renamed Yulim 5.