Two harbour tug newbuildings have been ordered for Port of Bunbury, 175 km south of Perth after a new licence was agreed
This port is operated by Southern Ports Authority, which said the port has the largest land holding of any port in Australia and capacity for significant organic growth.
Port of Bunbury’s main imports are caustic soda, methanol, petroleum coke and vegetable oils. Its key exports include alumina, aluminium hydroxide, mineral sands, silica sand, silicon dross, spodumene, woodchips, bunkers and bunkering.
Southern Ports Authority has signed a five-year, non-exclusive towage licence agreement with Svitzer Australia.
This builds on Svitzer’s commitment to Western Australia’s regional ports, creating synergies with existing operations in Albany, Geraldton, Onslow, Fremantle and Kwinana.
This licence award will prompt Svitzer to deploy two newbuilds equipped with fire-fighting capabilities to provide safe, efficient and reliable towage services to ships using the port.
The Maersk subsidiary will install solar panels on the tug berth and will use fuel efficiency tools to track and reduce emissions.
Fuel efficiency and environmental benefits were explained by Svitzer Australia head of innovation David Bartnik during Riviera Maritime Media’s Fuel monitoring to achieve vessel optimisation webinar on 9 August, part of Riviera’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week. More details of his presentation will be included in a feature in the September/October issue of International Tug & Salvage.
Southern Port Authority chief executive Steve Lewis said its decision to select Svitzer for Port of Bunbury operations followed an extensive tender process.
“Towage services play a vital role in supporting port operations and assisting in supply chain optimisation,” said Mr Lewis.
“We welcome Svitzer’s investment in new tonnage and the benefits to the port’s customers from this contract. Svitzer already provides towage services at the Port of Albany, and we look forward to continuing to work together to drive trade through the southwest region.”
Svitzer Australia managing director Nicolaj Noes said the group was committed to adding to its network in regional ports in Australia and reducing its environmental footprint.
“We are committed to the future of port sustainability, and with our entry to Bunbury, we will look to invest further in sustainable, energy-efficient and nature-driven power options to support our port infrastructure.”
Svitzer will commence towage operations from 6 December 2021. It will use local workers and suppliers, said Svitzer Australia general manager for western operations Jodie Ransom.
“We look forward to playing a very tangible role in the port, facilitating trade through the region, in turn supporting the local economy and providing employment opportunities through our operations,” she said.