Maersk tug-owning subsidiary Svitzer has completed its latest fleet expansion in the Middle East to bolster operations in Oman
Five new tugs have been built by Sanmar Shipyards to Robert Allan designs for handling very large container ships and bulk carriers in the Port of Sohar, Oman. Two were Sirapinar-class tugs and the other three, and most recent deliveries, are Bigaçay-class vessels.
These azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs, which came into service in June, were ordered after Svitzer secured a 15-year extension to its contract to provide marine services to Sohar Industrial Port Co in Oman. They are used for escorting and berthing container ships and large bulk carriers.
In May and June Sanmar delivered three Bigaçay-type, and ABS-classed ASD tugs - Svitzer Sohar, Svitzer Shinas and Svitzer Saham. These are a new variant of the Robert Allan designed RAstar-series.
Robert Allan included a sponsoned hullform in the RAstar 2900-SX design to provide significantly enhanced escort towing and seakeeping performance. The tugs will also provide fire-fighting, pollution response support and salvage operations within the port.
Svitzer managing director for Asia, Middle East and Africa Nicolai Vinther Friis told Tug Technology & Business investment in Oman also included training people to operate these new tugs. “Our priority is to invest in the training and education of the local workforce,” he says. “It is not only our licence to operate, but also our obligation to develop, train and inspire the next generations of seafarers locally to keep national and global supply chains via the sea running.”
Around 75% of Svitzer’s workforce and business is localised “and the goal is to increase this to 90%” says Mr Friis. “A key priority is to ensure our operations contribute to growth and prosperity in the communities and that implies investing in local communities and upskilling the local workforce.”
These Bigaçay compact tugs have around 80 tonnes of bollard pull, maximum speed ahead of 14 knots, an overall length of 29.4 m, a moulded beam of 13.3 m and draught of 6 m. Propulsion on these ASD tugs comes from two Caterpillar CAT 3516C main engines, each delivering 2,525 kW coupled to a pair of Kongsberg US255FP azimuth thrusters.
The vessel’s accommodations are compliant with Maritime Labour Convention standards for a normal operating crew of up to eight personnel. The master and chief engineer cabins are located on the main deck, with three double crew cabins located in the lower accommodations.
In Q1 2020, Sanmar started delivering tugs to Svitzer’s Port of Sohar operations. It completed Svitzer Liwa and Svitzer Barka as Sirapinar-class tugs to Robert Allan’s RAmparts 2200 design for these operations in Oman.
Bigaçay tugs tank capacities are:
Fuel oil: 175 m3
Foam: 18 m3
Fresh water: 21 m3
Fresh water ballast: 52 m3