Svitzer Meridian – christened on the meridian

The TRAktor 2500-SX design is particularly suited for large ship handling (Svitzer)
The TRAktor 2500-SX design is particularly suited for large ship handling (Svitzer)
'Svitzer Meridian' on the big day (Svitzer)
'Svitzer Meridian' on the big day (Svitzer)
Industry Database

Global towage operator Svitzer, along with its key partners recently held the christening ceremony for the tug Svitzer Meridian, the latest and tenth vessel in its Port of London fleet.

The location for the ceremony on the river Thames, reflected Maritime Greenwich’s prime meridian longitude on the river Thames, a suitable choice given the new tug’s name and that it will be available for duties either side of the meridian on the London river.

The Sanmar-built tug was christened in a naming ceremony attended by guests representing a variety of customers and partners and was officially christened by representatives from multinational electricity and gas utility company National Grid Grain LNG who are godparenting the vessel.

Speaking at the event, Kasper Nilaus, Svitzer’s managing director, Europe spoke of the importance of having strong links with the local community with its local employees having named the tug after such an important maritime geographical landmark adding: “Svitzer Meridian has been specifically designed to meet requirements in London and she is a welcome addition to our existing fleet in the port. I know she will excel, helmed by our 70 experienced members of crew based out of London. The Meridian will be providing best-in-class towage services to our diverse pool of customers including container lines, tankers, cruise ships and bulk carriers, as well as LNG vessels.

Mr Nilaus stated that Port of London is seeing “a significant increase in activity and volumes in the Port of London” making it one of Svitzer’s busiest operations in Europe also stating: Our team in London has capitalised on Svitzer’s global size and scale by quickly matching changing market demands and by utilising the flexibility of our fleet in neighbouring ports or on the continent. Moving assets between ports is a huge advantage.

Svitzer Meridian is the third tug built by Sanmar Shipyards to Robert Allan Ltd’s new TRAktor 2500-SX design and the second such in Svitzer’s fleet. For Sanmar it is the third of the new class to be delivered to international clients in just over four months.

In true tractor configuration the vessel has azimuth thrusters located forward and above the waterline has a raised half forecastle to provide enhanced sea-keeping qualities when working in exposed waters. Below the waterline the usual CFD simulations and physical model testing were adopted to determine the configuration of the hull form and appendages. As with the same TRAktor 2500 design ordered from Sanmar by Italian operator Rimorchiatori Riuniti and mentioned elsewhere in this edition, this example also has StRAke stabilisers fitted to the stern.

Particulars of the ABS-classed Svitzer Meridian include: LOA 25.3m, beam moulded 12m and maximum draught 5.74m with tank capacities including: fuel oil 84m3, potable water 12m3 and Fi-Fi foam 4.8m3.

In the engine room, two Caterpillar 3516C main engines, each rated 2,100bkW at 1,600rpm drive Rolls-Royce US 255 Z-drive units with 2.6m diameter fixes-pitch propellers and on trials the tug achieved over 12.5kn ahead speed with a bollard pull of 71.5t. Auxiliary power consists of two Caterpillar C4.4 gensets each with a power output of 99ekW.

As is typical with tractor tugs, towing is carried out over the stern via a DMT type TW-021-E250kN, electric.

By Peter Barker

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