Happy Birthday Sanmar!

Sanmar mark their 40th anniversary in 2016 (Sanmar) Sanmar mark their 40th anniversary in 2016 (Sanmar)

Turkish tug owner and builder Sanmar Denizcilik is celebrating its 40th anniversary, marking a milestone in a journey initially building its own tugs to becoming a major name in the world of tug construction.

Reading the abridged history of Sanmar one can imagine it became the important force in the world of tug building it now is by accident. It was in 1976 that Orham Gürün, present chairman of the company together with his late dear friend and colleague Gökҫen Seven incorporated Sanmar Denizcilik. Forty years later the company is reflecting on the delivery of more than 150 tugs to owners on six continents from its two modern custom built shipyards.

Sanmar is one of Turkey’s oldest private sector tug owning and operating companies providing harbour towage, ship assist and escorting services. A snapshot of its activities indicates a fleet of 23 modern tugs operating in seven ports and terminals in the Marmara Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea.

The demands of providing the highest standards for such services presented particular challenges for Sanmar with the vessels operated by the company (with an average age of less than two years) all built in its own shipyard. It is this side of their business which now regularly makes the news by supplying tugs to high profile customers including: Østensjø, P&O, Smit Lamnalco, Svitzer and Buksér og Berging.

The yard list includes tugs built to meet stringent requirements for operation at LNG terminals and arguably the most notable references are the 68tbp terminal tugs Bokn and Borgoy delivered in 2013 to Buksér og Berging, and the world’s first LNG-powered tugs.

Sanmar’s association with Canadian naval architect Robert Allan Ltd is the important element resulting in its reputation for quality in both the design and build of their products. Elsewhere in this column there is coverage of Sanmar’s recent launching of a Robert Allan designed VectRA 3000 tractor tug for Italian owners, a landmark in its own right being the builder’s first Voith Schneider Propeller powered tug.

The builder’s reputation is clearly of the highest order in that its reference list includes designs from Robert Allan Ltd which are exclusive to Sanmar, identified by the ‘SX’ suffix in their type designation, the VectRA 3000 mentioned above is one such example. Another SX design worth a mention is the RAmparts 2400SX design tug Zeycan Y which when delivered to Turkish domestic owners in 2014 became the 100th tug to be delivered by Sanmar.

Sanmar’s two shipyards are at Tuzla and its latest facility Altinova. The Tuzla yard is dominated by a 144m long construction hall and under the leadership of the company chairman, Sanmar is in the capable hands of the children of the two original founders.

By Peter Barker

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