Finnish towage company Alfons Håkans has guaranteed servicing for propulsion systems on new ice-breaking tugs it has on order
It has contracted Kongsberg Maritime to provide extended service coverage for thrusters being installed on new escort tugs currently being built at a Sanmar shipyard. Kongsberg’s extended thruster coverage (ETC) will support US255 thrusters and ND Aquapilot remote control systems on the ice-breaking tugs.
ETC replaces Kongsberg’s previous time- and material-based customer support approach with a fixed yearly fee. It said this programme increases its commitment with “enhanced risk mitigation and long-term collaboration with customers… to optimise fleet equipment maintenance standards across the tugboat industry.”
This ETC programme will help ensure reliable harbour towage and ice-breaking operations for the two vessels Sanmar is building for operations in the Finnish and Baltic seas.
Alfons Håkans technical manager Tuomas Raumanen said it operates more than 20 tugs fitted with Kongsberg azimuth stern drive (ASD) units. “Reliability is very good, but ETC will make it even higher, ensuring the risk of unexpected service stops is very low and helping us to deliver the best possible service level to our customers,” he said. “This contract will be beneficial to both parties both economically and technically, and we believe this will be a turning point for the whole industry as it moves towards long-term service agreements.”
Sanmar said these ASD escort tugs will be delivered to Alfons Håkans this year to provide ice breaking and towage services during Q4 2021.
With Kongsberg’s ETC, a far greater degree of critical disruption risk is absorbed by the manufacturer through a fixed annual service fee. This accommodates both planned and unplanned maintenance over the entire lifecycle of customers’ Kongsberg thrusters. It reduces ad hoc spare part ordering and scheduling of fast-tracked maintenance that has affected tug operations in the past, said Kongsberg.
Under the coverage terms, a proactive maintenance schedule leverages data from daily operations to assist in managing the planning of regular maintenance.
This ETC also includes a commitment from Kongsberg to supply all consumables and contingency parts to keep thrusters in a serviceable condition over the entire duration of the warranty period, which could last up to 15 years, depending on the owner’s requirements.
“Signing of this first ETC contract reflects our increased focus and dedicated efforts towards strengthening our relationships with our customers within the tug segment,” said Kongsberg global maritime customer support manager Odd Erik Bjørkevoll.
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