Joint venture group providing towage in Hong Kong took delivery of Z-Tech harbour tug Guilin from Cheoy Lee Shipyards in November 2018
South China Towing expanded its fleet and enhanced its coastal towage capabilities in 2018 when it took delivery of a new Z-drive tug. This joint venture* provides harbour and coastal towage services to ships calling at the port of Hong Kong. It also provides deepsea towage, salvage support and marine consultancy while maintaining a modern fleet of tugs.
South China Towing has served Hong Kong port for more than 30 years. In that time, port operations have involved more frequent vessel berthing and larger ships, especially container ships with capacities in excess of 20,000 TEU.
The operator wanted to invest in a new tug with effective manoeuvring capabilities to ensure it could handle all vessels entering Hong Kong docks in the future.
In November 2018, South China Towing’s fleet grew to seven tugs with the addition of Z-Tech harbour tug Guilin from Cheoy Lee Shipyards.
This is a Z-Tech 5000 tug designed by Robert Allan with an overall length of 27.4 m. It combines the main operational characteristics of both Z-drive tractor tugs and azimuthing stern-drive tugs.
Guilin has a moulded beam of 11.5 m and hull depth of 5 m with a maximum draught of 5.25 m to ensure it can access most of the dock areas in Hong Kong.
During its sea trials in November 2018, Guilin achieved a maximum bollard pull ahead of 52.7 tonnes and a free ahead running speed of 12.5 knots.
Driving this is the main propulsion that comprises a pair of Niigata 6L26HLX diesel engines, each rated at 1,471 kW at 750 rpm. These drive two Niigata ZP31 Z-drive units.
Also in the engineroom are two identical Yanmar 6HAL2-N diesel generator sets that produce electrical power for the tug’s internal systems. Each genset produces up to 100 kW of three-phase electrical power at 380 V and at 50 Hz.
Guilin’s deck machinery includes a Yamax hydraulic towing winch on the bow, spooled with 120 m of line on the working drum. There is also a knuckle deck crane on the aft deck.
This Z-Tech tug has fenders around the hull including a tier of cylindrical fender at the main deck level at the bow. There are W-block fenders between the main deck and the knuckle at bow and stern, and hollow square-style fenders along the sheer lines of the main deck, stem and skeg, plus additional fendering at the stern.
Guilin was designed to comply with Hong Kong flag requirements and Bureau Veritas class.
It has accommodation for a crew of six, including single cabins for the master and chief engineer and two double crew cabins on the main deck. There is also a pantry and mess room located on the lower deck.
Guilin has tank capacities for storing 93 m3 of fuel oil and 23 m3 of potable water.
South China Towing operates a fleet of seven tugs with power ratings ranging 2,980-3,730 kW, able to handle the world’s biggest ships. Shenyang is its most powerful tug with combined power of 3,730 kW and 70 tonnes of bollard pull. Suzhou is a similar tug, but with 65 tonnes of bollard pull. The fleet also includes four harbour tugs with bollard pulls of around 53-56 tonnes and power ratings of around 2,980 kW.
*South China Towing is a joint venture between Singapore’s PSA Marine and Japanese groups Mitsui OSK Lines and Tokyo Kisen Co and was formed in 1987
South China Towing fleet
Name GT Power (kW) Towing force (tonnes)
Suzhou 393 3,730 65
Shenyang 397 3,730 70
Guangzhou 278 2,980 53
Shanghai 286 2,980 55
Nanning 293 2,980 55
Shunde 298 2,980 56
Guilin 333 2,980 53