Forth Ports is expanding its tugboat fleet with a newbuild ordered from Damen Shipyards to meet growing demand for towage in eastern Scotland
It has contracted Damen to supply an azimuth stern drive (ASD) tug for Forth Estuary Towage, for operations around ports and terminals in the Forth and Tay estuaries.
This tug will be built to a Damen ASD 2312 design, with 70 tonnes bollard pull, lower emissions and fire-fighting equipment.
Forth Ports chief harbour master Alan McPherson said this order is “building our relationship with Damen in the coming years”. He explained how Forth Ports is “working with Damen on the delivery of the ASD 2312 to Forth Estuary Towage, as we replace older tonnage and significantly increase our towage fleet capability”.
Damen Marine Services supplied ASD 2811 tug Pioneer to operate with Forth Ports as a front-runner for this contract.
It said the new ASD 2312 tug will be more manoeuvrable than Forth Ports’ older tugs because of its twin-fin skeg and dual azimuth thrusters with more visualisation for the master with 86% window coverage in the wheelhouse.
ASD 2312’s deck is obstacle free, reducing tripping hazards and its winch is located under the superstructure, freeing up space and facilitating towing operations both forward and aft.
Damen is preparing this tug for lower emissions as there is space to install a NOx reduction system to upgrade it to IMO Tier III requirements. Emissions are further reduced because of the tug’s smooth rounded bilge, an efficient profile that cuts fuel consumption.
Damen will outfit Forth Ports’ ASD 2312 tug with closed-circuit TV for security and FiFi fire-fighting capabilities, additional fendering at the bow and a winterisation package.
Forth Ports chief operating officer Stuart Wallace signed the newbuilding contract with Damen Shipyards area director Frank de Lange.
Options selected for the tug by Forth Ports include remote monitoring to reduce maintenance requirements and increase data flow.
Recent tug newbuilding orders from Scottish operators include two tugs for Targe Towing.