A new towage and fire-fighting tug has begun operating in the Port of London as Svitzer shuffles its fleet.
Svitzer Meridian started working on the River Thames, serving vessels sailing in and out of London on 1 November. It is an azimuth tractor drive (ATD) tug with 70 tonnes of bollard pull.
Svitzer Meridian arrived in London on 19 October after its construction at Sanmar’s shipyard in Turkey as part of a two-vessel series.
This ATD tug joined Svitzer’s existing fleet of nine other tugs in the Port of London. These assist a diverse pool of vessels, including container liners, cruise ships, tankers and LNG carriers.
Svitzer Europe needed more capacity in London because of growing volumes of ship traffic in one of the busiest ports in Europe, said managing director Kasper Friis Nilaus.
“Over the past years, we have seen the volumes in London picking up significantly,” he said. “Svitzer Meridian is a versatile tug and will prove useful both at London Gateway [container terminal] and in the [river] Medway.”
Svitzer Meridian was fitted with fire-fighting capabilities with a water pumping capacity of 10,569 gallons per minute from two fire monitors to cater for emergency requirements in the port.
The first job for Svitzer Meridian was to assist container ship MSC Iris on its arrival in London.
Svitzer Meridian is a sister vessel of Svitzer Vale, which worked in London during Q3 2018, and is now serving in Bremerhaven.
Svitzer Meridian has a maximum speed of 12.5 knots ahead and 12 knots astern. It has two Caterpillar 3516C HD main engines that each produces 2,100 kW or power.
Svitzer has also added a tug to its Liverpool fleet where it has secured a contract extension for assisting tankers at a refinery.
Mr Nilaus explained to Tug Technology & Business in the upcoming issue how Svitzer Europe overcomes the tough commercial pressures in the UK and continental Europe through adding new tugs and mobilising vessels around the fleet.