Maersk tug-owning subsidiary Svitzer is close to completing its latest fleet expansion in the Middle East with five new tugs to operate in Oman
Sanmar Shipyard in Turkey has nearly completed the multi-vessel construction order, having delivered three tugs and is testing two more.
These azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs were ordered after Svitzer secured a 15-year extension to its contract to provide marine services to Sohar Industrial Port Co in Oman, including escort and berthing container ships.
Svitzer Sohar was delivered by Sanmar to Svitzer in May. It is the first of three Bigacay-class ASD tugs Sanmar was contracted to supply.
The other two Bigacay-class tugs are expected to be mobilised to Sohar later this month after completing their sea trials.
In Q1 2020, Sanmar delivered Svitzer Liwa and Svitzer Barka to Svitzer’s Sohar operations. These were built as Sirapinar-class tugs to Robert Allan’s RAmparts 2200 design.
Svitzer Sohar was built as a variant of Robert Allan’s RAstar range. It is a RAstar 2900SX compact tug with around 80 tonnes of bollard pull, an overall length of 29.4m, a moulded beam of 13.3 m and draught of 6 m. Its propulsion comes from two Caterpillar CAT 3516C main engines, each delivering 2,525 kW coupled to a pair of Kongsberg US255FP azimuth thrusters.
“We are all very excited to receive the first of the Bigacay-class tugs here in Sohar,” said Svitzer Sohar port manager Peter Rosewall.
“Svitzer Sohar is a huge step up with bags of power and a lightning fast winch. Being highly manoeuvrable, it allows our operations to flow smoothly and quickly.”
Mr Rosewall said Bigacay-class tugs match towage and berthing requirements of Valemax vessels that regularly call at Sohar.
“Svitzer Sohar is also fitted with FiFi class 1 and provides Sohar port with the 24-hour seaborne and quayside fire-fighting capabilities needed for the multitude of cargos being transported through the port,” he added.
FFS provided a main engine-driven external fire-fighting system meeting FiFi1 notation via two forward bridge deck monitors. Svitzer Sohar’s deck machinery includes a DMT-supplied escort towing winch on the fore deck and an aft towing winch. It also has a Palfinger-supplied deck crane and an anchor windlass.
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