Wilson Sons will partner with Damen Shipyards to build the six tugboats at Wilson Sons’ shipyards in Guarujá, near São Paulo over the next three years
On delivery, they will be added to the group’s fleet, which is the largest in Brazil.
Wilson Sons director of tugboat business Rodrigo Bastos said these tugs will be deployed for terminal and port missions along the Brazilian coast.
“The new series will contribute to the renewal of the fleet and will facilitate support for large ships that will stop over the next few years at Brazilian ports,” he said. “We will also be prepared for business opportunities in the oil and gas industry, such as LNG operations and dedicated terminals,” Mr Bastos added.
The tugs will have static traction of around 80 tonnes, overall length of 25 m and beam of 13 m.
“This new model has the most modern equipment available on the market and guarantees a high level of security for port manoeuvres,” said Wilson Sons executive director of shipyards Adalberto Souza.
He highlighted the green credentials of the newbuildings as they will comply with IMO Tier III requirements for eliminating nitrogen oxide emissions.
“Tier III is a great advantage of this project which, although not required in Brazil, shows how much we are at the forefront of the Brazilian naval industry,” Mr Souza said.
He anticipates engineering and construction will begin this quarter and the first tugboat will be delivered in Q1 2022. Mr Souza expects a new tug will be completed every four months after that, stretching deliveries until 2024.
For this new venture, Wilson Sons plans to hire 50 professionals. “We are very optimistic about this project, which represents a boost for shipbuilding,” said Mr Souza.
Wilson Sons operates a fleet of 80 tugs in ports and terminals along the Brazilian coast.
It started operations in the Port of Santarém, in the Amazon basin, in November 2020 with a new tugboat with azimuthal propulsion.
Wilson Sons has implemented a digitalisation drive with investment in its tugs and onshore for data collection, monitoring and analytics. It installed closed circuit television, network cabling and wifi on its fleet in 2020.
Around 480 cameras and local internet networks were installed during this programme. Cameras enable real-time visualisation of tugboat operations and manoeuvring by managers and charterers.
Wilson Sons has also has invested in artificial intelligence and internet of things to enhance towage operations.
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