Towage capacity in Baltic Sea ports will be enhanced after a leading tug owner in the area returned to Turkey for a newbuilding.
Alfons Håkans subsidiary, PKL Flote of Latvia, ordered a harbour towage tug from Sanmar Shipyards in Turkey in October. This follows the company’s Estonia-based operating company purchasing a tug from Med Marine in August.
PKL has contracted Sanmar to supply Sirapinar VIII in 2019. Construction on this tug commenced at Sanmar’s shipyard in Tuzla, Turkey at the end of October with a keel laying ceremony.
PKL chairman Sergejs Odincovs said the tug was ordered as a newbuilding instead of PKL purchasing a vessel from Sanmar’s stock. PKL will operate this tug for harbour and sea towage in the Latvian ports of Riga and Ventspils.
This tug will be part of the Sirapinar series of azimuthing stern drive (ASD) tugs with a bollard pull ahead of around 50 tonnes from a tug with an overall length of 22.4 m.
After the keel laying ceremony Sanmar project director Ali Gürün said this tug design solves the industry challenge of tighter cost control without impacting ship handling performance.
“The only way to achieve this is to have more bollard pull in compact hulls with low operational and maintenance costs,” he said.
Sanmar has orders for six other Sirapinar-class tugs, including two for a Spanish owner, two for an Italian operator and one each for towage in the United Arab Emirates and the UK.
Robert Allan produced this design as a smaller version of Sanmar’s Boğaçay series tugs. Sirapinar tugs come with twin Caterpillar type 3512C main diesel engines, each able to produce of 1,500 kW of power driving two Schottel type SRP 360 fixed pitch Rudderpropellers mounted aft.
Mr Gürün explained to Tug Technology & Business that tug owners have the option to order newbuildings or purchase those already built or in production from the builder, in a process similar to purchasing a new car from a dealership.
Alfons Håkans added to its Estonian tug fleet in Q3 2018 when it purchased a 24.4-m ASD tug from Med Marine. This is a Robert Allan-designed tug with 45 tonnes of bollard pull and a free sailing speed of 12 knots.