Australian tug owner Engage Marine has contracted Damen Shipyards to supply three new tugs as it modernises its fleet in Australia
This follows news at the start of May that Engage Marine has secured a long-term contract to provide towage services in the Port of Abbot Point, Australia. North Queensland Bulk Ports Corp (NQBP) awarded a new non-exclusive towage licence to Engage Marine after a competitive tendering process.
Engage then ordered three new azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs from Damen ready to begin operations in Q3 2021. Damen was already building these tugs in its southeast Asia shipyards to an ASD 3212 design, one of Damen’s next-generations tugs series.
With an overall length of around 32.7 m and beam of 12.8 m, the tugs’ engines have combined power of 5,050 kW power and their ASD propulsion generates bollard pull of 85 tonnes and top speed of 13.5 knots.
Damen said the ASD 3212 design “combines proven technologies with cutting-edge innovation to take an evolutionary step forwards in terms of safety, sustainability, reliability and efficiency.”
Engage chief executive Mark Malone said these tugs “are a proven design, well suited to the prevailing conditions of operations” in the Port of Abbot Point.
“The design promotes crew comfort, operational capability and energy efficiencies, all high on our list of providing sustainable towage services,” said Mr Malone.
The tugs can be upgraded to IMO Tier III NOx emissions requirements in the future.
NQBP said the new tugs and towage licence will help it meet current and future trade requirements and foster improved environmental management and supply-chain optimisation.
Mr Malone said the next move is to recruit crew for these new tugs. “We will be seeking suitably qualified and experienced locals to both operate and maintain these vessels to the highest standards,” he said.
This is part of Engage Marine’s commitment to meet all stakeholder requirements in the port. “We will work closely with the workforce and their representatives so that the current towage workforce in Abbot Point will be offered first priority of continuing their roles in the port,” Mr Malone said.
Engage’s towing licence will come into effect at the Port of Abbot Point from 1 October 2021.
Tug design, construction and harbour towage will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s series of virtual webinars, forums, conferences and technology days in 2021 - use this link for more details and to register on the events page