Saam Smit Towage has ordered a new azimuthing stern drive (ASD) tug from Damen Shipyards to boost its Panama fleet. SST Portobelo is an ASD 2411 design tug built at Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam and outfitted in the Netherlands.
SST Portobelo has 70 tonnes of bollard pull. It is en route to assist ships in the Panama Canal and terminals. As part of the contract, Saam Smit Panama will be trading in an older tug from the fleet in part exchange for the new vessel with Damen Trading. The second-hand vessel will be refurbished and offered for sale.
Saam Smit’s general manager in Panama, Walter van der Dussen, said availability and fast turnaround were reasons for acquiring the tug from Damen. He said SST Portobelo would replace a 55-tonnes bollard pull tug at Panama terminals and the canal.
He also sees benefits in using similar tugs from Damen in the fleet. In May 2016, Saam Smit took delivery of SST Rambala, an ASD 2913 tug with 80 tonnes of bollard pull. This vessel and SST Portobelo will be supported by Damen Shipyards Curaçao. Damen Shiprepair & Conversion took over management of Curaçao Drydock Co in February 2017 to provide tug and ship services. The facilities include two large drydocks, 2,000m of repair quays and 13 cranes.