Mexican tug owner Snekke is expanding its tugboat fleet in response to larger ships using key ports in the Central American nation
Snekke, formed in January 2019, has acquired an azimuth stern drive (ASD) multipurpose tug from Turkish builder and owner Med Marine for operations in the Mexican port of Manzanillo on the Pacific Ocean coast.
This addition raises Snekke’s fleet to three tugboats in Manzanillo, Colima, one of the busiest ports in Mexico as it handles cargo for the Mexico City area.
Med Marine mobilised its own Med Yarımca ASD tug to Mexico and renamed it RPM Manzanillo after the acquisition contract was signed.
This 25-m tug was built by Med Marine at its Eregli Shipyard in Turkey as a MED-A2575 class vessel. It was built to a Robert Allan-adapted RAmparts 2500W design with 70 tonnes of bollard pull.
It was built for shiphandling, coastal towing, escort, emergency response and general-purpose duties. It has a FiFi1 fire-fighting system with one pump capable of driving 1,200 m3/hr of foam and water to two monitors.
RPM Manzanillo has two Caterpillar 16 V main diesel 3516 C engines that develop 2,100 kW of power at 1,600 rpm. These drive two Schottel SRP460 drives with controllable pitch propellers giving this ASD tug a top speed of 13.5 knots.
Snekke’s new tug has two Caterpillar C4.4 generator sets, each rated at 99 ekW at 1,500 rpm and 50 Hz in the engineroom and a THR Marine towing winch on the fore deck.
Economic growth in Mexico is driving investment in the nation’s tugboat fleet. During Q4 2019, Boluda Towage Mexico ordered two new 32-m ASD tugs from Damen Shipyards.
VB Gallardo and VB Galante will support ships in ports in Baja Southern California: Pichilingue and La Paz, and the Pemex terminals, located in the ports of San Juan de La Costa and Punta Prieta.
Growth in maritime trade has also garnered interest in tug fleet acquisitions. Chile-headquartered Sociedad Matriz (SAAM) is acquiring a controlling stake, of 70% of all shares, in tug owner Intertug to gain more business in Mexico.
Meanwhile, Mexican tugboat owner Equimar is implementing software from Logimatic to optimise operations and improve management of its growing fleet.