Greek tugboat owner is modernising its fleet by purchasing secondhand harbour towage and salvage tugs
Megatugs Salvage & Towage has renewed its fleet of Mediterranean harbour and salvage tugs through acquiring vessels on the secondhand market. The latest addition was in May this year as a sister tug of two vessels added at the end of 2016.
Megatugs introduced Platytera to its fleet in May, boosting its fleet to nine tugs, Megatugs logistics and IT manager Nikolaos Kokorakis told Tug Technology & Business at the Posidonia exhibition in Athens, Greece, in June.
Platytera is an anchor handling salvage tug built in 2007 and has a bollard pull of 51 tonnes. This 40-m tug is kitted out for harbour towage and oil recovery with 350 m of boom and storage capacity for collected oil, Mr Kokorakis said.
It is a sister vessel to two tugs, Pantokrator, built in 2006 and 2005-built Pantanassa. They were both added to the Megatugs fleet in Q4 2016.
Megatugs also added its first azimuthing stern drive tug to the fleet in 2017. Megalochari VII was built in 2006 and has a bollard pull of 68 tonnes. This means five of Megatugs’ fleet are less than 13 years old and two more were built after 1997.
“We are in the process of modernising the fleet by replacing some of our older ones,” said Mr Kokorakis. “We sell the old stock and then mostly use the sales and purchase market and go through agents” to source replacement candidates.
“We are in the process of modernising the fleet by replacing some of our older ones”
The oldest tug in the current fleet is 1964-built harbour tug Panormitis, which has 44 tonnes of bollard pull. The next-oldest is salvage tug Ionion Pelagos, which was built in 1977 and has 98 tonnes of bollard pull.
Megatugs operates the fleet of tugboats from stations in Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports, in Greece. From here it can operate in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Red Sea. Its operations office is manned 24/7, 365 days a year, ensuring reliable, effective and efficient port operations, said Mr Kokorakis.
It provides harbour and ocean towage and escorting services with this nine-vessel fleet. Over the last 12 months, Megatugs has successfully carried out ocean towage of jack-up barges, pipe and cable-laying barges, transport barges, dipper dredgers, floating docks, very large crude carriers, military vessels and concrete caissons.
Megatugs also carries out salvage operations, fire-fighting, underwater inspections, ship repairs and pollution control. For this it has a tanker vessel, diving and antipollution equipment.
This year it also added another asset. “We are in the process of retrofitting our first barge to make it suitable for use with a crane,” said Mr Kokorakis. “It will be used for port work, salvage and dredging.”
Megatugs has provided tug support to key salvage projects in Greece in 2017 and 2018. It assisted Smit Salvage in removing the wreck of cargo ship Cabrera, which sank off the Greek island of Andros in December 2016. Tugs assisted Boskalis’s floating sheerleg crane Taklift 4 to lift the wreck.
During Q2 2018, Megatugs helped with the removal of the wreck of general cargo ship, Little Seyma, from the eastern tip of Mykonos Island. A sheerleg crane was used to pull up the wreck in pieces over several weeks in May and June.
|Tug||type||build year||bollard pull|
|Ionion Pelagos||salvage tug||1977||98 tonnes|
|Megalochari VII||ASD tug||2006||68 tonnes|
|Megalochari VIII||harbour tug||1998||38 tonnes|
|Megalochari XII||salvage tug||2001||48 tonnes|
|Megalochari XIV||harbour tug||1998||38 tonnes|
|Panormitis||harbour tug||1964||44 tonnes|
|Pantanassa||anchor handling salvage||2005||52 tonnes|
|Pantokrator||anchor handling salvage||2006||53 tonnes|
|Platytera||anchor handling salvage||2007||51 tonnes|
Megatugs implements digital transformation
Megatugs Salvage & Towage is deploying digital technology across its fleet operations to improve management and data analytics by investing in fleet management and vessel monitoring software, said Megatugs logistics and IT manager Nikolaos Kokorakis.
“We are implementing technology as we need more digital processes,” he said. “We need more data gathering and software for processing it.” Megatugs was reviewing software options in June, to help it manage the nine-tug fleet, which is being modernised with younger vessels purchased secondhand.
Caterpillar machinery at the centre of Platytera
Megatugs Salvage & Towage’s latest addition, 2007-built Platytera, has a top speed of 12 knots. This 40-m anchor handling salvage tug has a breadth of 11.8 m and a moulded depth of 4.6 m. It is classed by Bureau Veritas and registered in the port of Piraeus.
In the engineroom there are two Caterpillar 3406C generators, each generating 229 kW of power and two Caterpillar 3512B main engines, each producing 1,443 kW of power.
Platytera has two fixed pitch propellers and one HRP 3001TT bow thruster that produces 220 kW of power, giving the tug a bollard pull of 51 tonnes. This twin rudder tug has accommodation for 18 people and a FiFi fire-fighting system with two monitors and a pump that can deliver up to 1,200 m3/hr of water.
Type: anchor handling salvage tug
Port of registry: Piraeus
Class: Bureau Veritas
Length, o/a: 40 m
Breadth: 11.8 m
Maximum draught: 3.8 m
Bollard pull: 51 tonnes
Top speed: 12 knots
Clear deck space: 150 m2
Main engines: 2 x Caterpillar 3512B
Generators: 2 x Caterpullar 3406C
Propellers: 2 x fixed pitch
Accommodation: 18 people
Smit partners with Megatugs for Mediterranean salvage
Smit Salvage, a Boskalis subsidiary, was assisted by Megatugs Salvage & Towage in the salvage of the wreck of cargo ship Cabrera in December 2016. This vessel sank off the Greek island of Andros and required the services of a heavy-lift crane barge to remove it, said Smit Salvage managing director Richard Janssen.
“We brought in floating sheerleg crane Taklift 4 from the Middle East to salvage Cabrera,” he said. Prior to that, Smit Salvage and Megatugs removed the oil and cargo from the sunken vessel.
After the Cabrera salvage, Taklift 4 was mobilised to west Afica to recover an offshore single buoy mooring, then to Denmark for offshore lifting projects, said Mr Janssen.
The 83-m floating crane was built in 1981 with main tackles and jib tackles that can operate together. Taklift 4 has a lifting capacity of 1,400 tonnes with the top crane and 2,200 tonnes from the lower tackle.
When Smit Salvage is contracted for projects it needs tugs to support its operations. “We work with a number of partners in the Mediterranean,” said Mr Janssen. “We sometimes need anchor handling tugs and specialist lift units.”
In other parts of Europe, Smit Salvage can use tugs owned by Smit's joint ventures such as Kotug Smit Towage. “We have been involved in a lot of salvage projects in Europe where we work with our joint venture partners,” said Mr Janssen.