Sanmar built two escort and terminal tugs in a US$15.5M investment by Orkney Islands Council to prolong crude exports from the Flotta terminal
Orkney Islands Council (OIC) invested £12.2M (US$15.5M) on two new escort and terminal tugs to support prolonged operations at the Flotta tanker loading terminal in Scotland.
Sanmar Shipyards built Odin of Scapa and Thor of Scapa in Turkey to a Robert Allan design and RINA class at a cost of £6.1M each. These tugs were delivered to OIC’s Marine Services in the middle of September to replace ageing tugboats, of more than 30 years old, operating in Scapa Flow and Flotta.
These tugs are part of OIC’s modernisation and renewal of its tug fleet as it readies for another double-decade of tanker loadings from the Flotta terminal and other ship activity in Orkney.
“All involved are delighted to see the tugs arrive in local waters,” says OIC chair of the development and infrastructure committee Graham Sinclair. “The tugs will play a vital role at the heart of our harbour operations, helping us make the most of current and future marine business opportunities and maintain the service we have provided for the Flotta terminal over many decades.”
He says Orkney is becoming a pre-eminent location for ship-to-ship operations in northern Europe. “This growth and our Flotta operations would not be possible without world-class tugs and crews,” he says.
Flotta is one of Scotland’s main hubs for exporting crude oil from North Sea fields, many of which continue producing oil long after their expected cessation dates.
OIC is marketing Scapa Flow for different marine activities including ship-to-ship transfers, which these new tugs are expected to assist in. “Scapa Flow is internationally recognised as a pre-eminent location for a broad portfolio of maritime activity,” says Mr Sinclair.
Odin of Scapa and Thor of Scapa were built to a RAstar 3200-SX terminal support/escort tug design with shallow draughts and 78 tonnes of bollard pull. Their hullforms and deck machinery were adapted for specific requirements for the conditions in Orkney and escort operations.
“Escort forces are enhanced by the effects of the sponsons and by the prominent foil-shaped escort skeg forward” on the hullform, says Sanmar.
“Roll motions and accelerations are less than half those of comparable-sized standard wall-sided tug hulls.”
Robert Allan says, “RAstar 3200-SX tugs are purposely designed with a shallower draught than other comparable high-performance escort tugs.”
“RAstar 3200-SX escort/ship-assist tug is a twin Z-drive, diesel-powered vessel, designed for the performance of ship-handling, towing and escort duties,” Robert Allan explains.
“The escort tug is equipped for operations over the bow and stern, with a powerful escort winch at the bow for escorting and ship-handling operations, and a towing winch, towing pins and rounded transom at the stern for towing.”
OIC’s new tugs have an overall length of 32 m, moulded beam of 13 m and maximum overall draught of 5.5 m.
These 497 gt tugs are classed by RINA for ship escort, unrestricted navigation, fire-fighting to FiFi1 class, in-water surveys and automated unmanned machinery spaces.
Their main propulsion comes from two Caterpillar 3516C diesel engines, each delivering 2,350 kW at 1,800 rpm. These drive two Kongsberg US255 controllable-pitch Z-drives with 2.8-m-diameter propellers. All this gives Odin of Scapa and Thor of Scapa free running speeds of 14.3 knots.
Also in the engineroom is an acoustically isolated switchboard room and three CAT C 4.4 diesel generator sets. These help drive deck machinery that includes a DMT escort winch at the bow for escorting and ship-handling operations, and a DMT towing winch, Macgregor Triplex towing pins and rounded transom at the stern for towing.
These tugs have ship-handling fenders at the bow consisting of an upper row of cylindrical fender and a lower course of W-fender. Sheer fendering consists of D-shaped rubbers, and there is W-block type fendering at the stern.
Accommodation is for six crew. This includes two officer cabins, one double-berth cabin and two single cabins, gallery and mess. The wheelhouse is designed with a single split-control station that provides maximum all-round visibility.
OIC new tugs’ particulars
Tugs: Odin of Scapa and Thor of Scapa
Operator: OIC Marine Services
Designer: Robert Allan
Design: RAstar 3200-SX
Overall length, oa: 32.0 m
Beam, moulded:13.0 m
Maximum draught (overall): 5.5 m.
Gross tonnage: 497 gt
Bollard pull: 78 tonnes
Free running speed 14.3 knots
Main engines: 2 x Caterpillar 3516C, 2,350 kW at 1,800 rpm
Propulsion: 2 x Kongsberg US255 Z-drives
Generators: 3 x CAT C 4.4 diesel gensets
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