ASDs and quick deliveries keep Damen busy

KOC's Damen ASD3212
KOC's Damen ASD3212
'Svitser London' on trials in Vietnam
'Svitser London' on trials in Vietnam
Industry Database

Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania, has launched the first of 14 new tugs for the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC).

The ceremony for this vessel, an ASD 3212 tug, was attended by Mr Sami Al-Sawagh, team leader marine maintenance in the marine operations group, on behalf of KOC. This was a significant milestone for Damen and KOC, whose working relationship goes back more than 25 years. 

This substantial contract, awarded to Damen in September 2012, comprises two vessel types, representing Damen’s latest and most established tug designs. The contract includes nine of the increasingly popular Damen ASD 3212 tug with 80t bollard pull and five examples of the 50t bollard pull ASD 2810 design. Over 150 of the latter have been delivered since it was first introduced. All 14 tugs will be used to assist tankers at near shore loading terminals and at new single point moorings further offshore. For those duties the tugs will be equipped with powerful fire-fighting systems.

In KOC’s earlier associations with Damen, the shipyard delivered several fast crew vessels and the large fire-fighting terminal tug Sabahi. In the early nineties, Damen was contracted to construct a completely new fleet of tugs, crew tenders, work boats and mooring boats for KOC. In subsequent years Damen has also provided KOC with comprehensive technical services, spare parts, and maintenance assistance.

In recent weeks another of Damen’s well-established client Scafi, the Italian shipping group that includes a number of international towing companies, also placed an order for a new ASD 3212 tug. This is the fifteenth contract between Scafi and Damen and the tug will be the first of that design ordered for Italian waters. Damen sales director North West and South Europe, Frank de Lange, commented: “We are delighted to work again with a respectable Italian owner such as Scafi. This contract extends a durable and happy business relationship and the contract cements an already strong business relationship that goes back 20 years."

Scafi ordered the new 32m state-of-the-art ASD 3212 tug as part of its programme of continuous fleet renewal and improvement. The new tug will have a bollard pull of over 80 tonnes and will fulfil the Italian Flag requirements with the additional notations; ‘Fire Fighting 1, escort tug, oil product salvage and oil recovery tug’. The Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam will complete the vessel to meet a short delivery target of August of this year, reflecting Damen’s philosophy of series construction and building tugs to be held ‘on stock’.

The Damen ASD 3212 tug is proving to be a very popular product. It was first introduced to the towage industry in a blaze of publicity at ITS 2012 in Barcelona and sales figures continue to grow. Since its introduction several examples have entered service around the world. This versatile high performance vessel is capable of operating in harbour and at exposed offshore terminals. The chosen hull-form and high bow offers improved free running speeds and a dry foredeck.

At the time of writing, the major towage provider Svitzer is awaiting delivery of the Svitzer London an ASD 3212 for service with the Thames fleet, in the UK. The vessel was completed ‘from stock’ in the Damen Song Cam shipyard in Vietnam and is being shipped to Rotterdam as heavy lift deck cargo. Once the vessel in service it is hoped that a detailed description of this tug will be possible in future issue.

Another new tug launched in Vietnam in late March was a ASD 2411 for Port Otago in New Zealand. Christened Taiaroa, the 24m compact tug will have a bollard pull of 68t and is part of port’s preparations to handle the anticipated larger-generation of containership. Taiaroa was put in the water by synchrolift at Damen’s Song Thu yard, will run trials in late May and is expected to arrive at Otago in the early part of July 2014.

Among the continuing list of orders for the smaller ASD 2810 is a contract from Smit Lamnalco for a new shallow draught version. The tug is required to expand Smit Lamnalco’s support services for the oil and gas terminal at Novorossiysk, on the Russian Black Sea coast.

The contract specifies a standard ASD 2810 design in all but one key aspect – the vessel’s draught must be reduced to 4.5m to enable the vessel to operate shallow waters in some areas around Novorossiysk. Damen sales director, Mijndert Wiesenekker, explained: “To achieve the desired draught reduction, the lower part of the thrusters will have to be modified. Consequently, the resulting bollard pull will be a still respectable 50 tonnes, instead of the standard 60 tonnes. However, the design gives the opportunity of reconfiguring the thrusters if necessary to achieve maximum bollard pull depending on the client’s needs.”

Smit Lamnalco’s Novorossiysk fleet currently has 15 vessels, supporting the operation and maintenance of single point mooring (SPM) systems in the Russian and Kazakhstan oil export industry. As the number of SPMs has recently increased to three and the new 2810 ASD tug will meet the needs of this growing market. Rick Maliepaard, chief technical officer, Smit Lamnalco, said: “Smit Lamnalco had the idea for reducing a tug’s draught in this way and it was Damen that came up with a good solution. We are very happy with the collaboration especially with the possibility of retrofitting the thruster to achieve maximum bollard pull.”

Damen Shipyards Galati will construct this modified ASD 2810, with delivery scheduled for the second quarter of 2015.

By Jack Gaston

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