Each month MJ looks at recent tug orders and deliveries, this month’s content involves just four orders of interest – writes Peter Barker.

Kotug International has secured a technical partnership with Brunei’s SPHI Marine following the latter’s awarding of a 10 + five-year LNG terminal support contract with Brunei LNG Sdn Bhd. Actual vessel details are not yet to hand but the contract includes provision of three newbuild advanced Rotortugs and a newbuild hybrid RAmpage 4500 AHTS. The vessels will be between 65 and 80 tonnes bollard pull.

The quartet will be owned by SPHI Marine and managed initially by Kotug. Based on a transition plan, management of the vessels will be handed over to SPHI Marine during the second part of the contract. The Rotortugs RT Champion, RT Leader and RT Tasman will continue operating until arrival of the new vessels.

It will be the first time a local Brunei company has owned and operated Rotortugs and they will be built under a financial arrangement with a Bruneian bank and Brunei flagged.

Following Boluda’s acquisition of Kotug Smit’s European operation there have been changes in its fleet disposition and recent developments include the renewal of an existing partnership between Boluda Towage Europe and Port of Zeebrugge covering the concession of towage services at the Belgian port.

Contract duration is five years, extendable for a further three years and includes sustainability initiatives where the RAmparts 3200 tug Union Panda will be retrofitted to IMO Tier III standards following similar upgrading of the Union Koala last year. Emissions of the remaining vessels will be reduced in the first two years of the contract with shore power provided for moored tugs.

Soon after, Boluda reported the ordering of two Damen ASD Tugs 2813 for the Zeebrugge operation. To be named VB Bolero and VB Rumba the Tier III standard tugs were launched recently from Damen’s Vietnam shipyard and due to join Boluda’s 81-strong northwest European fleet in December this year.

The news above highlights increasing enthusiasm among ports to achieve environmentally sustainable operations. Green or brown buffer zones between industrial and urban areas are not always possible requiring understanding for the two (often inter-dependant) communities to live in harmony and Port of Antwerp is one example where measures are being taken to reduce the environmental fallout of its operations.

Late last year Antwerp port ordered the world’s first hydrogen-powered tug and it has followed this initiative with an order for two Tier III compliant Damen RSD 2513 tugs, an example of its Next Generation Tugs series. Damen’s Innovation, lately operated by Boluda and Multratug 6 (formerly Biz Viridis) and operated by Multraship are the first two of this class and currently in the Netherlands region with an increasing number of other RSD 2513s joining the list.

They will each provide 70tbp and a feature of the design is where it has two bows allowing ‘optimal performance in both bow and stern assisting operations’ always allowing a bow first approach. The RSD 2513 incorporates a higher freeboard than usual for a tug of this size resulting in, according to Damen no water on deck, improved seakeeping and increased safety.

Tier III compliance is provided by Damen’s in-house developed marine NOx reduction system and the pair will also meet fifi1 standards.

Finally, elsewhere in this month’s column there is sad news from Targe Towing but on a more positive note the Montrose-based tug owner, a regular customer for Sanmar Shipyards having taken delivery of three Boğaçay class RAL 2400SX tugs over the last three years has returned to the yard with an order for two RAL RAmbler 1200 multi-purpose ‘mini tugs’ based on the twin-screw RA1600 design.

The pair will have a bollard pull of 6t with accommodation for 12 passengers internally and provide line handling operations for large crude oil tankers at INEOS FPS’s Hound Point Marine Terminal. They will also support pollution response, carry out safety patrols and transport crews and light stores to and from the terminal.

Targe Towing MD, Tom Woolley said: ‘Whilst these new multi-role workboats are an addition to Sanmar’s portfolio of vessels, the builder’s proven quality of build supported by Robert Allan’s internationally recognised reputation for design excellence were important factors in awarding this contract to Sanmar’.