Nibulon has launched its latest pusher tug to transport bulk cargo along Ukraine rivers
Its own shipbuilding and repair yard constructed the 121M project tug as Nibulon increases grain transportation and exports on non-self-propelled vessels.
Nibulon-15 will be the first 121M project tug for four years when it joins the fleet in 2021. The first three tugs joined Nibulon’s fleet in 2017. It will have an overall length of 29.6 m, beam of 11 m and a shallow draught of 1.45 m.
“The modernised 121M project tugs, operating together with the two non-self-propelled NBL-91 project vessels, form the most efficient tug and barge convoys on the Southern Buh,” said Nibulon shipping deputy director Oleksandr Taranovskyi.
These convoys can transport 6,000 tonnes of grain per trip along the Buh river, which is the second longest in Ukraine.
“As a result of developing the infrastructure and increasing the volumes of grain received, Nibulon required an additional fleet,” Mr Taranovskyi said.
Freight navigation along the Southern Buh was revived in 2018 after a Nibulon grain terminal was built near Prybuzhany in the Voznesensk region.
As Nibulon was happy with the performance of the previous tugs, it decided to order another vessel for this project. Nibulon-15 is equipped with a movable wheelhouse which can be raised and lowered within 180 seconds to pass under bridges on the waterways.
It will be used for mixed sea and river navigation. It was designed to operate in almost any conditions, in particular in shallow water and ice, and with various barge convoys.
Volvo Penta supplied the main engines and diesel generators and ZF Marine Krimpen manufactured the rudder propellers.
Adding Nibulon-15 will increase Nibulon’s fleet to 24 tugs, and the total fleet comprising of 83 vessels used for various operations.
Nibulon transports 20.4M tonnes of cargoes by inland waterways, thereby removing the equivalent of more than 850,000 lorries from Ukrainian highways. It transports 70% of all Ukrainian cargo by water and builds all of its vessels in its own shipyard.
This shipyard is also building two non-self-propelled NBL-91 project vessels that will operate with Nibulon-15 in convoy. The first of these is being outfitted after the hull was completed in October. On the other NBL-91 project vessel, workers are constructing the hull structures.