Damen Shipyards group and affiliates have delivered three highly manoeuvrable tugs to two owners to support ports and terminals in the Middle East.
Smit Lamnalco and RAK Ports have taken delivery of azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs from Damen shipyards in the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
In July, Damen delivered two ASD 3212 tugs to Smit Lamnalco to assist ships berthing and unberthing at a fertiliser terminal in Oman. SL Murjan and SL Lulu are owned and operated by the joint venture Bahwan Lamnalco Co.
These 32-m tugs have begun operating at Oman India Fertiliser Co’s dedicated terminal in the Port of Sur. They were initially built to a standard ASD 3212 design as part of Damen’s stock at the Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam, then customised to Smit Lamnalco’s requirements with a modified aft deck and the addition of an aft winch to SL Lulu.
These two tugs are part of an order for four ASD 3212 design units for Smit Lamnalco, ordered in November 2017. The other two are destined to operate in the port for the mining town of Weipa in Queensland, Australia on a Rio Tinto project in Q4 2018.
Rotterdam-headquartered Smit Lamnalco has a longstanding relationship with Damen Shipyards and operates 55 tugs built by the group in its fleet. Smit Lamnalco will need to order more new tugs after it gained a 20-year contract to provide marine services at an LNG terminal in Bahrain for the National Oil and Gas Authority.
In June, Albwardy Damen shipyard in Sharjah, UAE, launched a new ASD tug constructed for Saqr Port, part of the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Ports group.
Saqr Port ordered the tug from the UAE shipyard in May 2017 after it started building a new terminal to accommodate some of the world’s largest bulk carriers. Its keel was laid and construction was underway at the shipyard in September 2017.
This 29-m tug was built to a Damen ASD 2913 design to operate in a new deepwater bulk terminal scheduled for completion at Saqr port later this year. It will have 80 tonnes of bollard pull to provide additional power for manoeuvring Capesize vessels.
This compact and powerful tug can manoeuvre within the restricted waters of the harbour and handle the strong winds that sweep across the port with little or no warning. It therefore has a high freeboard and a raised quarterdeck for safe operations in rough seas.
It is part of a series of ASD 2913 tugs under construction at Albwardy Damen for future sale. Another three ASD tugs of this type with 60 tonnes and 70 tonnes bollard pull are being built for stock. TTB witnessed the launch of a similar design tug during a visit to the shipyard in September 2017.
RAK Ports has returned to Damen Shipyards for multiple tugs in the past decade. It operates seven tugs built by Damen including five stan tugs, one of ASD 2411 design and another of ASD 2310 design.
Saqr Port serves the fast-growing quarry industry in RAK, which exports up to 55M tonnes of bulk materials through the port each year.
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