A new tug has commenced marine operations for a major container terminal at a key global trading junction in the Middle East
APM Terminals (APMT), a Maersk subsidiary, has a new tug at the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) in Port Said, Egypt.
Fellow Maersk Group company Svitzer has begun operations with the first of two tugs to be used in the terminal to handle large container ships and assisting in berthing.
Its tug Svitzer Port Said 1 went on hire on 11 November at the terminal. This follows Svitzer signing a 10-year agreement with Suez Canal Authority in March this year to deliver marine operations and ship assistance at SCCT. The agreement included delivery of two azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs with up to 70 tonnes of bollard pull for handling large container ships. A second of these vessels, Svitzer Port Said 2, is expected to enter service in January 2020 at SCCT.
Svitzer said there are around 10 assignments for the tug per day at SCCT. The tug owner anticipates this to double when a jetty extension at Port Said is completed.
Svitzer managing director for Asia, Middle East and Africa Nicolai Vinther Friis said the contract “taps into Maersk group synergies with APMT”.
He added, “This new operation is a significant step for us and a reflection of our strong and long-standing relationship with Egypt and that the country plays an important role in our growth plans for the region.”
Svitzer has operated in Egypt since 2005 to provide marine services at the Idku LNG plant under a 20-year contract with Egyptian LNG. It provides escort tugs for assisting and berthing LNG carriers at this key LNG production and export plant in the Mediterranean.
Svitzer also operates harbour tugs at another APMT-operated terminal in North Africa. It supports container ships berthing at the Tanger Med terminals in Morocco with a new fleet of tugs built by Sanmar to the Bigacay design in 2018. These were ordered after Svitzer securing a long-term contract to provide marine services for the Tanger Med 2 terminal.
SCCT is a hub for trade between south east Asia and the Mediterranean. Around 95% of SCCT’s traffic is currently made up of transhipment volumes.
This container terminal has an annual capacity of 5.4 million TEUs, but this could double when the jetty extension project is completed.
Riviera Maritime Media will host a Smart Tug Operations Conference in the Middle East in 2020