Svitzer intends to invest in two new azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs after signing a 10-year agreement with the Suez Canal Port Authority on 28 March.
The Maersk Group subsidiary requires tugs with 70 tonnes of bollard pull to assist ships in Port Said and the Suez Canal.
They will be specifically designed for terminal operations and will boost Svitzer’s fleet in Egypt to nine vessels.
Svitzer managing director for the Middle East, Nicolai Friis, said this agreement was a significant step in the company’s growth ambitions in the region.
“We have a strong and long-standing relationship with Egypt and for the past years we have invested continuously, as Egypt plays an important role in our expansion as towage operator in the region,” he said.
Svitzer said two newbuild tugs would be ordered immediately after signing the contract. These tugs will need to be completed swiftly as the contract commences in July this year.
Svitzer has operated in Egypt since 2005 for Egyptian LNG supporting operations at terminals in Idku. It operates a fleet of seven vessels including four ASD tugs, two line boats and one pilot boat.
Turkish shipyards support Svitzer’s expansion in the Middle East, Europe and Australia. Both Uzmar and Sanmar have built new ASD tugs for Svitzer this year and in 2018. The latest deliveries from Uzmar were Svitzer Redhead and Svitzer Ruby.
Sanmar is building a series of tugs for Svitzer’s Middle East operations and last year it supplied new tugs for Svitzer’s fleet in Morocco and in London, UK.