With larger ships, especially container ships, calling at Mediterranean ports, tug owners have improved their capabilities to handle them
Rimorchiatori Riuniti del Mediterraneo is one of these. Its subsidiary TugMalta has taken delivery of a Damen-designed and built reverse stern drive (RSD) tug built in Vietnam.
Senglea was built as an RSD 2513 tug with a bollard pull of 76 tonnes. This tug investment was part of an agreement with the Maltese Government covering an extension to the towage concession on the island until 2035, with the tug owner promising to add three tugs to serve container ships of up to 18,000 TEU and gas carriers using the island’s LNG terminal.
This resulted in Rimorchiatori Riuniti del Mediterraneo investing €24M (US$29.1M) in three years on three new tugs. The first of these, azimuth stern drive (ASD) St Angelo entered service in Q1 2018 and a second ASD tug Vittoriosa was delivered by Med Marine in Q2 2019.
Senglea arrived in Malta in January 2021 on 2011-built multipurpose heavy lift ship BBC Onyx. Accompanying this tug were two others for owners in the region, including ASD tug Delovoy-6, which is destined to operate in Russian Black Sea ports for Delo Service.
Also on board was 2020-built RSD 2513 tug Gabriella Neri, which Damen has sold to Fratelli Neri. This has similar characteristics to Senglea. It has bollard pull of around 80 tonnes and will be operating in the port of Livorno, Italy.
Another Italian owner has also added a newbuilding from Damen. Onorato in Cagliari purchased an ASD 2813 tug from Damen. Orlando Onorato has two Caterpillar 3516 TA main diesel engines, generating a bollard pull of 85 tonnes and a speed of up to 13 knots. This tug has an overall length of 27.6 m, beam of 12.9 m and depth of 5.2 m.
In Cyprus, Archirodon Construction took delivery of a Shoalbuster 2609 design tug from Damen’s shipyard in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. Nearchos has two Caterpillar C-4.4 TA engines, bollard pull of 28 tonnes and speed of 10.5 knots. It has a shallow draught of 2.6 m, overall length of 26 m and beam of 9.2 m.
In Israel, National Coal Supply Corp (NCSC) purchased a newbuilding from Med Marine to assist ships delivering coal for power generation. Hadera was built at the Eregli Shipyard as the first of a MED-A3280-SD shallow draught series. This 31.5-m tug is based on Robert Allan RAmparts 3200-SD design, with 75 tonnes of bollard pull to handle increasingly large coal carriers. It has a shallow draught of 4.9 m and a top speed of 12.5 knots.
NCSC, a state-run corporation under full ownership of Israeli Electric Corp, handles the procurement of coal and its transportation from source countries to power stations in Ashkelon and Hadera. It co-operated with Med Marine to produce and deliver Hadera in December 2020.
It has a pair of Caterpillar 3516C main diesel engines generating 2,350 kW at 1,800 rpm driving two Schottel SRP 460 thrusters with controllable pitch propellers of 270 cm diameter.
In Spain, P&O Reyser will start operating an eco-silent tractor tug in the Port of Barcelona after its delivery from DP World’s Drydocks World in the UAE. Azabra was constructed to an asymmetric tractor tug ATT 2020 design by Cintranaval Ship Design. It has a selective catalytic reduction exhaust gas emissions after-treatment systems to comply with IMO Tier III.