Shipbuilders have completed tugs for multiple owners as northern European ports welcome ultra large container ships
Northern European tug owners have revitalised their fleets, adding newbuilding tugs with higher bollard pull and lower emissions.
Investment continued in 2020 on tug fleets in the Baltic region, the UK and France. Shipyards in Turkey, Europe and southeast Asia benefited from owners ordering newbuildings for ship escort and handling in ports.
Boluda France completed a six-tug newbuilding campaign to renew and expand its fleet with delivery of the last two. Piriou group designed and built these multipurpose tugs to Boluda’s specific requirements for power and manoeuvrability to handle the largest container ships, tankers and LNG carriers.
VB Longchamp and VB Guardian arrived in Le Havre, northern France on 24 April, after their construction at Piriou’s facilities in Vietnam. Built to Omni Stern Tug 30 design, they have an overall length of 30.3 m and bollard pulls of around 75 tonnes.
There were challenges in taking delivery of these tugs due to restrictions imposed to counter the coronavirus pandemic. Boluda France chief executive Denis Monserand highlights the efficiency and commitment of Piriou, Port of Le Havre and the contractors “who allowed the delivery of these last two vessels in due time in spite of the current health crisis”.
Port of le Havre chief executive Baptiste Maurand says these tugs modernise the fleet in the harbour.
VB Longchamp and VB Guardian were transported on board Spliethoff’s heavy-lift ship Pauwgracht to Le Havre. Their delivery brings Boluda France’s latest newbuilding project to an end. In that campaign, VB Concorde and VB Mirage entered service in Nantes-Saint Nazaire on the Atlantic coast in August 2019 with VB Acheron and VB Surprise arriving in Marseille-Fos ports on the Mediterranean in November 2019.
Boluda Towage Europe and Multraship Towage & Salvage agreed to help North Sea Port, which operates terminals in the Netherlands and Belgium, to expand operations and create a complete nautical chain within ports.
North Sea Port manages harbour operations to reduce delays and peaks in traffic through an online platform to oversee harbour operations, marine services and resources.
Up to Q2 2020, this involved managing traffic in the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal that crosses between Belgium and the Netherlands, but this will now be expanded in geography and scope, thanks to Boluda and Multraship.
The management area will be extended to cover Braakmanhaven, near Terneuzen, and the Sloe area. Its scope will be expanded to cover planning ship escorts, towage and berthing to reduce inefficiencies and improve resource management.
Back in France, Thomas Services Maritime (TSM) took delivery of a new multipurpose tug in July from Neptune Marine. TSM Ouessant is a shallow-draught vessel with 44 tonnes of bollard pull and accommodation for 21 people.
It was built to a EuroTug 3515 design in the Netherlands. It has a 100-tonne anchor-handling winch and two Heila deck cranes. TSM will use this tug for a diverse range of operations from its homeport of Rouen, Normandy. TSM also operates in the ports of Dieppe, Brest, Bordeaux and Sète.
In the UK, Targe Towage and Ineos have added vessels to their fleets in Scotland. Both added a Bogacay-class tug to their fleets from builder Sanmar Shipyards. These were built to Robert Allan’s RAmparts 2400SX design, both with an overall length of 24 m and bollard pull of 70 tonnes.
Targe’s and Ineos’ fleet renewal bolsters tanker handling services at Hound Point, a key crude exporting terminal for North Sea oil in the Firth of Forth.
In June, Targe ordered two line-handling mini tugs from Sanmar to support tanker loadings at Ineos’ Forties Pipeline terminal. These Iyidere-class vessels are based on RAmbler 1200 design for multipurpose mini tugs, each with a bollard pull of 6 tonnes, speed of 9.5 knots and capacity for 12 passengers.
Orkney Islands Council (OIC) Scotland is adding two escort tugs to its fleet to support tanker operations at the Flotte terminal and in Scapa Flow. These 32-m tugs were built by Sanmar to RAstar 3200 design with bollard pulls of 70-80 tonnes. Odin of Scapa was mobilised to Scotland in Q2 2020 and Thor of Scapa is scheduled to enter service in Q3 2020.
In Poland, Remontowa Shipbuilding is progressing with a six-tug newbuilding programme for the Polish Navy. Of these, three have been completed and are ready for service. Bolko and Gniewko started in Q2 2020 and, in June, Mieszko passed sea acceptance tests and was handed over. A fourth tug, Semko, was outfitted and was being commissioned. A fifth tugboat, Leszko, was launched in June and the final tug, Przemko, is being prepared for launch.
Damen Shipyards also built a tug for Polish operations. It delivered Ajax azimuth stern drive (ASD) tug in June for operations in Gdansk. This is a new design ASD 2312 with a bollard pull of 70 tonnes, length of 22.8 m and a beam of 12.03 m.
Another Damen delivery was purchased by Associated Icelandic Ports. Magni is a 32-m tug with 85 tonnes bollard pull ahead and astern and two 2,025 kW main engines. It replaces a smaller 2006-built Damen tug of the same name.
Iskes Towage & Salvage increased its ship handling capacity in the Netherlands by adding a Damen-built ASD tug. Jupiter is also an ASD 2312 tug with 60 tonnes of bollard pull. It started operations in the ports of IJmuiden and Amsterdam in May. Damen said it was ready to be retrofitted to meet IMO Tier III emissions requirements.
“This ASD 2312 tug is a compact vessel with a very high degree of manoeuvrability, required for operating in the ports of Amsterdam and Ijmuiden,” says Iskes chief executive Jim Iskes.
Jupiter has a towing winch integrated into the superstructure to enable it to tow ships either from the bow or stern.
Damen included a twin fin into the hull design to improve directional stability and shatter-proof glass on the wheelhouse for protection in the event of a towing line snapping.
At its Hardinxveld shipyard, Damen completed MultiCat 1908, Patricia Matheson, for Inverlussa Marine Services. This 19-m vessel with 14.5 tonnes of bollard pull is designed for anchor handling and heavy site work in western Scotland.
S Walsh & Sons has contracted Concordia Damen to build a CS2010-type tug for its fleet operating on the river Thames. It will be outfitted for Walsh’s requirements for pushing barges under London’s many bridges to support the Tideway construction project.
Svitzer corporate moves following CEO appointment
When Svitzer chief executive Henriette Thygesen moved upwards in the Maersk Group, Svitzer Europe managing director Kasper Friis Nilaus was promoted to the role. There followed a cascade of appointments and career advances. Maersk Drilling senior director Kasper Karlsen was appointed chief operating officer of Svitzer Europe.
Also in July, Lars Even Rasmussen was appointed as head of human resources at Svitzer as a promotion from his previous position as head of organisation development at Maersk Group.
In addition, Svitzer head of marine standards Scott Baker was appointed as chairman of the British Tugowners Association (BTA), taking over from previous chair Nick Dorman. Svitzer UK North cluster managing director Ita Dickson also joined BTA’s executive committee.
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