TOWLINES

Gondan's hybrid ice-breaking tug promises to be an interesting vessel (Gondan).jpg

Gondan Shipbuilders has celebrated the launching of a sophisticated hybrid ice-breaking escort tug for Port of Luleå Sweden.

The RAL TundRA 3600-H class vessel will be powered by two diesel engines, shaft generators/motors and batteries providing flexibility along with fuel, emissions and maintenance savings and delivering 100tbp in diesel/mechanical and battery boost mode. Capable of breaking one metre ice at up to three knots, its capabilities include: ice management, escort, ship-assist, coastal towing, fire-fighting and navigation aids service duties. Another significant vessel Tugs & Towing will be returning to once delivered.

Harbour towage specialist Antwerp Towage has welcomed prominent industry representatives and port users at a social gathering marking its tenth anniversary.

Antwerp Towage NV was established in 2008 as a joint-venture between Fairplay Towage and Multraship Towage & Salvage providing towage services along the River Scheldt and in Antwerp. General manager Robert Van Hees reflects that starting a new venture ten years ago was arguably a less daunting prospect than it would be today and describes harbour towage in Europe as “a fiercely competitive sector” acknowledging that clients come and go and even come back again, a situation he expects will continue, the company continuing to provide the service they want and deserve.

Another company celebrating a birthday is Iskes Towage who recently marked its 50th anniversary in a joint ceremony involving the naming of three recent addition: Mars, Mercurius and Telstar.

Iskes Towage is known for its ambitious spirit of innovation and expansion of which these three tugs are fine examples. Mars and Mercurius are 82tbp Damen ASD Tug 3212s, two of twelve Damen-built vessels in Iskes’ fleet while Telstar is a very different design being a Holland Shipyards-built 78tbp hybrid EDDY 24-75 tug featuring in-line Veth thrusters.

More celebrations, this time for Svitzer who has entered a year-long agreement with Essar Oil UK to provide towage services at the Stanlow manufacturing complex in Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey.

The double-digit, million-pound agreement is an extension of former contracts stretching back to 2002 providing services including assisting on average three vessels related to Essar’s activities on a weekly basis. Stanlow refinery is an important supplier of fuel in north-west England including for major retailers, Manchester Airport and the region’s trains and buses.

By Peter Barker

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