SAAM Towage will expand its fleet in Mexico by ordering a new manoeuvrable and powerful azimuth stern drive (ASD) tug
The Chile-based major tug operator, Sociedad Matriz (SAAM), has ordered a newbuilding from Damen Shipyards Group for ship handling operations in the port of Veracruz.
Damen will supply a tug built to an ASD 2813 design in Vietnam for SAAM. This 28-m tug will have a bollard pull of 85 tonnes and a top speed of 13 knots with delivery expected in January 2020.
This tug will be built with modular systems similar to other tugs of this class. Damen will add a fire-fighting system, class FiFi1, for SAAM Mexico.
Management at SAAM Mexico visited the Damen Song Cam shipyard after indicating their intention to order a new harbour tug, viewing the construction process where Damen builds tugs for its own stock before selling them on to customers.
SAAM needed a new tug for its Mexico operations as larger container ships are docking at the port of Veracruz.
SAAM is a leading provider of towage services in South and Latin America, with operations in 13 countries over two continents.
The group has continued to expand and modernise its fleet in the region due to rising demand for towing larger ships in Latin American ports.
In June, SAAM purchased a 23-m tug from Turkish shipbuilder and tug owner Med Marine to boost its operations in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.
This expansion strategy follows the break-up this year of the joint venture SAAM had with Royal Boskalis Westminster, which covered towage operations in the Americas.
In a US$201M deal, Boskalis sold its stake in SAAM Smit Towage to the SAAM group. This included the partnership they had for operations in Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Canada.