Ice-class escort tug for Finland
Sanmar and Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) have provided background details of the order for two custom-designed escort tugs for operation in Finland.
Family-owned, Finnish towage operator Alfons Håkans has decades of regional expertise in the northern Baltic Sea region and following a year of developments within its fleet in 2018 (see MJ March 2019) the company has signed a contract for two ice-class ASD escort tugs with Turkey’s Sanmar Shipyards.
The order was won in a competitive bid process and with Sanmar’s close business relationship with RAL it was natural that a design from the Canadian naval architect would be selected for the pair, in this case two TundRA class ASD tugs.
Rob Allan, executive chairman of RAL described the order as: “A most significant contract” with Cem Seven, Sanmar’s managing director adding: “It demonstrates that not only are we able to supply stock designs from an extensive portfolio but we are recognised by the world’s leading operators such as Alfons Håkans to possess the skills and quality of workmanship and advanced working practices to carry out prestigious and complex tug building projects at a competitive price.” At the same time Sanmar announced it would be adding ice class tugs into its standard range.
Basic specifications include LOA 31.5m (excluding fenders), breadth moulded 12m, depth moulded 5.8m and draught (navigational) 5.6m. Classed by BV the pair will carry the notation: + Hull, + Mach AUT-UMS, Baltic Service, Ice Class 1A, INWATERSURVEY Survey, Green Passport-EU.
Power will be provided by a pair of Caterpillar 3512C main engines, each developing 2,000bkW at 1,600rpm driving Rolls-Royce US 255P30 azimuthing thrusters with 2,600mm CP propellers in nozzles. To provide the electrical requirements each tug will have a pair of Caterpillar C7.1 gensets installed each of 118kW. Performance figures will include a bollard pull of 67t along with a free running speed 13kn and accommodation will be provided for seven persons.
The new tugs are specifically designed for year-round service in the Baltic Sea, particularly in the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia which is covered with heavy ice during the winter season. They will be capable of performing multiple tasks including: escort; ship assist; icebreaking and ice management; open sea towing; fire-fighting; small cargo transfer on deck including 20ft containers; assistance in salvage operations and oil spill recovery.
The hulls are designed for icebreaking with strength significantly above requirements of the prescribed ice class 1A to ensure safety during icebreaking operations and eliminate the possibility of structural damage and shell plate deformation. For ship-assist in berthing and unberthing operations the pair will be fitted with all necessary equipment and fendering for two-directional bow and stern pushing and pulling.
Arctic condition features being provided by Sanmar include special ice-resistant coatings, a heat recovery system for the accommodation and main engine heating. A high level of navigational equipment will be provided including Aqua pilot control levers incorporating a special crawling mode. A 7t/m Palfinger telescopic crane is included, the structure reinforced for possible future installation of a 60t/m crane.
They will have what is described as “a unique balanced design” that will combine good seakeeping and relatively high free-running speed in open water with substantial escort performance and at the same time effective icebreaking capability. Accompanying all these objects was considered a major design challenge and has been accomplished through careful research and analysis of the hull form.
RAL speak of the importance of the order for the company noting the link between Alfons Håkans with its extensive knowledge and heritage of icebreakers and ice class vessel design and operation, and its own long history of icebreaking vessel and compact icebreaker-tug designs resulting in the development of a very unique and high performance workboat. The jigsaw is completed with the selection of Sanmar entrusted with the construction, a shipyard well established as the builder of high-quality vessels.
“This was a challenging task as just compliance with ice class doesn’t provide required strength and performance,” confirmed Alfons Håkans’ managing director, Joakim Håkans. “In addition combining good icebreaking and true escort performance is like mixing ice and fire, but with excellent co-operation with designer and operator these requirements were met.”
By Peter Barker
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