Tugs have been designed and built with higher bollard pull and greater power to handle larger cargo ships
A new tractor tug design, a delivery in Norway, construction work in Ukraine and shipyard contracts in Brazil underpin innovations in harbour tug technology.
Naval architects OSD-IMT have introduced their latest tractor tug design for harbour operations, ship escort and coastal towage as owners renew their interest in tractor tugs for effective port services and ship handling.
OSD-IMT’s latest design Cyclotrac 3690 has an overall length of 36 m and a beam of 15 m. Depending on engine and propulsion configuration, tugs built to this design could reach a bollard pull of 90 tonnes.
OSD-IMT sales manager Wijtze van der Leij says Cyclotrac was produced with stability, fuel efficiency and safe operations in mind.
“The high forecastle deck ensures good sea keeping performance and the hull is shaped to reduce drag and enhance stability,” he says. “This makes the vessel perfectly suited not only for harbour towage and ship handling, but also for coastal towing and escort operations.”
Designers were also mindful of the tug master and crew in this design.
“The wheelhouse design gives an excellent overview of the work deck during escort operations,” says Mr van der Leij. This design has accommodation for 10 crew.
Cyclotrac 3690’s hull has a design draft to the baseline of 4.5 m. Its propulsion comes from two main engines, each with power ratings of 3,300 kW driving two Voith Schneider VSP 36 propellers. Two auxiliary generators each produce 250 kW of power.
Mr van der Leij says propulsion could be adapted to include dual-fuel engines or to incorporate batteries and hybrid technology. Cyclotrac 3690 has a maximum speed of 12 knots.
Proposed deck machinery includes a waterfall-type tow winch with a brake load of 250 tonnes, pull of 100 tonnes and towing pins with safe working loads of 100 tonnes. Two capstans or windlasses of 5 tonnes and a small 1.8-tonne crane can also be added.
All OSD-IMT tractor tugs, including Cyclotrac 3690, can be delivered with a FiFi1 class notation for fire-fighting systems, which include two monitors, each delivering water and foam at rates of 1,200 m3/hr. To feed this, storage tanks of 4 m3 for foam and 6 m3 for detergents are included.
Cyclotrac 3690 has storage for 365 m3 of fuel, 90 m3 of fresh water and 4 m3 of lubricant oil. For safety there is a man-overboard retrieval boat and two liferafts, each accommodating 10 people.
In the wheelhouse there is X-band radar, an electronic chart plotter, Inmarsat-C Global Maritime Distress and Safety System for Area A-3, a search and rescue transponder and an emergency radiobeacon operating on 406 MHz radio frequency.
Another type of tug designed for harbour operations was built for Norwegian operator Farsund Fortøyningsselskap (FFS) Marine. Holland Shipyards Group supplied an EDDY-design tug, FFS Athos for operations in Farsund, Norway.
Upon arrival in Q1 2020, this tug, originally named Atlas, was put to immediate use for emergency response. FFS Athos was mobilised to tow distressed LPG tanker Crystal Lavender to safety on 11 February as the 4,300-gt ship suffered engine failure west of Farsund.
FFS Athos was built to an EDDY TUG 30-65 design, which was developed inhouse with Holland Shipyards. To meet FFS Marine’s requirements, the shipyard made several modifications to FFS Athos before delivery, including fitting a marine crane and an extension of the winch.
Holland Shipyards says this tug design was built around three key criteria: performance, economy and safety. “The slender hullform is easily driven, easy on gear, highly seaworthy and course-stable in any direction,” it says.
FFS Athos has compact centreline drive trains and azimuthal thrusters forward and aft. This results in simple operations with a 360° working range.
“With thruster positioning, the tug has the capability to maintain a continuous line tension under any circumstances,” says Holland Shipyards. It has hybrid propulsion enabling free sailing in diesel-electric mode. FFS Athos’s hybrid drive train optimises fuel economy in all operational modes.
Holland Shipyards says this tug is a safe working platform because of the high dynamic stability, watertight compartments and spacious dry decks without obstructions.
Deck machinery includes a double-drum, render-recover Safe-Winch, which mitigates the risk of having slack towlines and towline overload.
Other vessels in the FFS Marine fleet include 1997-built azimuth stern drive tug FFS Amaranth, with 52 tonnes of bollard pull and mooring tractor tug, FFS Haka.
FFS Marine also operates 1994-built multicat and anchor handling towing vessel FFS Ares, multipurpose crane vessel FFS Amon, plus two pontoons.
Harbour pusher tugs
In the Ukraine, Nibulon is building a new fleet of harbour pusher tugs for its long-term plans to support increasing bulk export cargoes. It is building three T410 project tugs at its own shipbuilding and repair yard, while taking all necessary measures to prevent transmission of coronavirus Covid-19 among its employees.
In April, construction of the hull and superstructure of the first of these tugs was completed. The wheelhouse was mounted, control panels were installed and accommodation was completed. Once the propulsion systems are installed, this tug will be launched to carry out sea trials.
Construction work on the second T410 tug was further behind with work still underway on the main engines and deck machinery. The shipbuilders had mounted pipelines, electric and fitter items, and pre-insulated items. They were laying cables on the vessel and connecting equipment.
Nibulon was also working on the third T410 tug and two non-self-propelled B1500 project open-type vessels at the shipyard. It expects the first T410 tugs to be ready for operations in Q2 2020.
Brazilian owners bolster fleets through tug construction
Two Brazilian tug owners are expanding their fleets with new vessels at shipyards in the South American nation. H Dantas Group, which operates 12 Brazilian ports, has gained approval to build 10 new harbour tugs at Estaleiro Rio Maguari, Pará state.
These will be operated by its subsidiary Sulnorte, which manages a fleet of 20 tugs for harbour operations, deepsea towage, offshore operations, salvage and emergency response. Of these, 15 were built at H Dantas’s own shipyard in Barra dos Coqueiros, Sergipe.
These new tugs will be built to Robert Allan RAmparts 2500 design with 75 tonnes of static traction. The first of these 25-m tugs is due to be delivered in April 2021, with the rest completed by 2024.
Starnav Serviços Maritimos is increasing its fleet of harbour tugs with vessels constructed at the Detroit Shipyard in Itajai.
Starnav Tiaki was mobilised to Rio de Janeiro in March 2020. It was designed with a bollard pull of 80 tonnes and was capable of 85 tonnes of static traction during tests conducted at the shipyard.
Starnav Serviços Maritimos is part of the Detroit SA Group with a fleet of 28 tugs, operating in Brazilian ports, shipyards and offshore projects. It recently opened Starnav Training Centre in Macaé for technical, operational and safety training on tugs. This includes a navigation simulator and a diesel engine for practical classes.