A leading Italian tug operator has ordered a pair of harbour tugs to bolster its Mediterranean fleet.
Scafi Group subsidiary Rimorchiatori Spezzini has contracted Damen Shipyards to deliver two azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs in Q1 and Q2 2019.
These tugs will be built to an ASD 2411 design for Scafi Group, which has four subsidiaries operating in the ports of La Spezia, Savona, Vado Ligure, Gioia Tauro and Rijeka.
Damen’s ASD tugs will assist large container ships, bulk carriers and gas tankers in confined port waters.
They will have an “effective hull and skeg design that provide stability and manoeuvrability under tough working conditions,” said Damen sales manager Antonio Marte.
Rimorchiatori Spezzini’s tug newbuildings will each have bollard pulls up to 70 tonnes.
Mr Marte said these tugs will be employed in the port of La Spezia, which is an important maritime hub for commercial markets in northern Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Rimorchiatori Spezzini managing director Paolo Visco said this newbuilding order was part of the operator’s “obligation to adapt our fleet to the needs of the ports where we operate”. He added that this included “serving bigger vessels within a limited area of operation”.
Scafi Group plans to transfer three tugs from its Italian port operations to Morocco after securing a new harbour towage concession in the port of Safi. It therefore needed to replace these tugs with these two ordered from Damen.
“This order enters into a group strategy of fleet turnover and renewal, which allows us in the near future to dedicate three tugs to the newly assigned tender in Safi," said Mr Visco.
Damen builds tugs to various ASD designs in its shipyards in Changde and Yichang, China, and ships them to the Netherlands for completion. It received the latest shipment of tug newbuildings on heavy-lift ship, Tasmanic Winter, at the end of October. This shipment included ASD 2411 design tugs, plus vessels of ASD 2009, ASD 3010 ICE and Stan 1606 designs.