Neri Group (or Fratelli Neri) expanded its tugboat fleet in 2017 with the addition of six vessels in 18 months and extended its services outside of Italy. This family-run group operates a fleet of 40 vessels, including 25 named tugs with bollard pulls ranging from 15-110 tonnes, five offshore support vessels, three crane barges and three other barges.
With the tugboat fleet, Neri Group provides marine services, mostly harbour towage, escort services, coastal and river towage, environmental protection, salvage and wreckage removal. Neri Group also operates onshore facilities that includes chemical terminals and warehouses and employs over 300 people.
During an 18-month programme to June 2017, six tugs were added to the fleet, according to Neri Group. Montenero was the final addition in that newbuilding programme and was the twin of Antignano.
Montenero and Antignano were built as terminal escort tugs. They have bollard pulls of 90 tonnes that comes from two MAN engines that each develop 2,555 kW of power at 800 rpm.
Fratelli Neri commercial manager Corrado Neri told Tug Technology & Business that these six additions help the group support container, tanker and LNG terminals in Italy and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
This includes in Greece after one of its tugs began operating under a joint venture between three Italian tug operators – Neri Group, Rimorchiatori Mediterranei Genova and Gesmar Ravenna – and Greek company Gigilinis Shipping. In December 2017, 2001-built tractor tug Alfredo Neri started towage services in the ports of Salonicco and Kavala. Also in 2017, its shearleg crane barge Italia assisted in a dredging project in Croatia.
Mr Neri hinted that there could be more orders coming for new tugs if new contracts arose. Neri Group announced in March 2018 that it is working with Italian energy corporation Eni to develop a new LNG terminal in Livorno.
This terminal will be used for distributing LNG on small gas carriers along Italy’s coast to vehicle refuelling centres and on bunkering vessels for fuelling ships in transit to Livorno port.
“We were involved in removing oil from the [Costa Concordia] casualty”
Neri Group also has experience with salvage projects in Italy. Mr Neri said it was one of the companies that responded to the Costa Concordia disaster. This was when the 114,147 gt cruise ship was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy on 13 January 2012. “We were involved in removing oil from the casualty,” he said.
“We have carried out many wreck removal projects using our 1,000 tonne shearleg [Italia] in Italy and offshore Sicily,” said Mr Neri. Its heavy-lift crane barges are also involved in dredging and offshore construction projects. Neri Group also has dedicated salvage equipment that includes diesel generators, hydraulic power packs and submersible pumps.
Neri Group tug fleet
9 tractor tugs
6 ASD tugs, 80-110T bollard pull
2 ASD tugs, 50-70T bollard pull
3 single scew tugs
3 stan tugs
2 escort tractor tugs