London has become the biggest port for tug operations for Svitzer after it added a new tractor tugboat from a Turkish shipbuilder, increasing its London fleet to 10 tugs.
Danish group Svitzer formally welcomed the newest tug, naming Svitzer Meridian at Greenwich. This is an azimuthing tractor tug, built in 2018 by Sanmar in Turkey to an adapted Robert Allan design.
Svitzer Meridian was officially christened by representatives from electricity and gas utility company National Grid, which operates the Grain LNG terminal on the River Medway. Grain LNG is one of the terminals Svitzer Meridian will service.
Svitzer Europe managing director Kasper Friis Nilaus said this tug was specifically designed to operate at the LNG terminal, and oil and container terminals in the Port of London.
This includes emergency response, fire-fighting systems and other safety features, such as positive pressurisation of the accommodation, engineroom and bridge to prevent gaseous fumes from entering these spaces.
“Svitzer Meridian provides towage services to our diverse pool of customers including container lines, tankers, cruise ships, LNG ships and bulk carriers,” he said.
It was ordered to “keep our fleet updated as we have seen a significant increase in activity and volumes in the Port of London, making it one of our busiest operations in Europe.”
Svitzer Meridian was built to a TRAktor-Z 2500 SX design as one of Sanmar’s Delicay class of tugs. This 25.3-m tug has a design bollard pull of 70 tonnes, full ahead speed of 12.5 knots and astern speed of 12 knots.
Sanmar director of key accounts and client services in Europe Vimal Choy said this tug was tailored to Svitzer’s specific requirements. “It is of the tractor concept originally developed for ship-handling due to its exceptional manoeuvrability and improved safety in close quarters operations,” he said. “We have also given special care and attention to reducing noise levels for improved crew comfort.”
Svitzer Meridian has two Caterpillar 3516C HD engines, which drive two Rolls-Royce US 255 azimuthing drives.