Baltic: An impressive new ETV for the German coast

Baltic is the first of two new ETVs to be built to protect the German coastline.
Baltic is the first of two new ETVs to be built to protect the German coastline.
The new tug has extensive accommodation in the long deep forecastle.
The new tug has extensive accommodation in the long deep forecastle.
The towing winches are flanked by tugger winches and storage reels for spare wires.
The towing winches are flanked by tugger winches and storage reels for spare wires.
A Lintec marine crane can be used in a 2m swell and Force 6 winds.
A Lintec marine crane can be used in a 2m swell and Force 6 winds.
Baltic’s fire fighting monitors have telescopic mountings.
Baltic’s fire fighting monitors have telescopic mountings.

Baltic, a powerful new Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV), entered service on the Baltic coastline of Germany in July, shortly after being delivered by Astilleros Armon at Vigo in Spain.

The new tug is part of an ongoing initiative by the German Government to replace the existing ETVs protecting the country’s coastline against marine pollution caused by shipping and other accidents at sea.

Some three years ago the German Federal Transport Ministry signed contracts for the charter of two new ETVs to be constructed by the ARGE Küstenschutz, a coastal protection consortium comprising Bugsier, Fairplay Richard Borchard, Unterweser Reederei and Wiking Helikopter. The purpose of the contract was to replace two existing tugs on station in the North Sea and the Baltic. Members of the ARGE Küstenschutz already operate the original vessels and a number of other maritime emergency services.

Under the new contract, Fairplay Richard Borchard, as a participating member of the ARGE, was tasked with organising the construction and management of a purpose designed ETV to assist in the protection of the Baltic coastline, from the current base in the Rostok - Warnemund area. Government funds were also approved for a ten year charter under the management of Fairplay, commencing in July of this year and replacing the existing vessel Fairplay 26.

A similar, separate, provision authorised ARGE member Bugsier to manage the construction of a larger ETV of a different design to be operated in the German North Sea, replacing the existing salvage tug Oceanic. That tug is currently nearing completion and will enter service on 1 January 2011 under contract to the German government and under Bugsiers’ management.

Baltic is a purpose built emergency towing and response vessel based on an established Spanish design and embodies many features found in the SASEMAR vessels Luz De Mar and Miguel De Cervantes, completed by Astilleros Armon, Navia in 2005. The keel for the new vessel was laid in April 2009 and the completed ship delivered in time to commence its ten year charter in July of this year.

The vessel measures 61.73m in length overall with a breadth of 15.00m, a depth (to main deck) of 7.00m and approximately 2,068 gross tons. A rugged, welded steel hull meets the requirement of Ice Class E2. Baltic is equipped for towage, salvage, fire fighting and pollution control, and rescue duties. Considerable emphasis has been given to manoeuvrability, reliability, and the ability to operate in oil covered waters. The design and construction meets the requirements of Germanischer Lloyd with the following extensive class notation; GL+100 A5 E2 TUG, Suitable for use in oil covered waters, IW +MC, AUT, E2, FiFi 1.

The hull design features a very long, deep, forecastle incorporating two complete decks, a bulbous bow, conventional screw propulsion and a relatively short, well protected after deck.

The latter has an area of 115 sq/m, which can be used for the transportation of cargo or equipment, with a maximum load of 132 tons. Among the large number of individual tanks, provision has been made for 570 cu/m of fuel, 126 cu/m of fresh water, 215.5 cu/m of ballast, 24 cu/m of fire fighting foam compound, 10.8 cu/m of dirty oil, 10.8 cu/m of sludge, 31.2 cu/m of sewage and a bilge tank capacity of 29.9 cu/m.

Baltic has a twin screw propulsion system powered by two General Electric 16V250 main engines, each generating 4,239 kW at 1,050 rpm maximum continuous rating (MCR) for a total of approximately 11,500bhp. Power is transmitted to a pair of Schottel SCP 100/4XG controllable pitch propellers of 4.50m diameter via Renk RSVL-900 gearboxes. The propellers rotate within fixed Kort nozzles.

Hatlapa Triton 130-45 rotary vane hydraulic steering gear is installed to operate two Becker ‘Flap’ rudders. One vane unit is mounted on each rudder head, obviating the need for a mechanical link between the two rudders. Manoeuvrability is enhanced with the installation of four 450kW Schottel STT 1 FP transverse thrusters, two forward and two aft.

On trials Baltic achieved a bollard pull of 123 tons and a maximum speed of 17.3 knots, both with main engines running at their MCR, exceeding the predicted bollard pull by a healthy margin.

Two LAIG/MAN D2840LE301 diesels, rated 400 kW at 1500 rpm, are installed in the engineroom to power pumps for the ship’s hydraulic systems. Electrical power is supplied to the ship’s systems by two Leroy Somer LSAM 50.1VL10 AREP shaft generators, driven by the main propulsion gearboxes and rated 1,500kVA at 1,500 rpm. For ‘in port’ and emergency use, a single LIAG/MAN D2886LXE20 auxiliary generator is provided, rated at 120 kVA.

The Fi Fi 1 standard fire fighting installation features two Jason 250 x 350 OGF monitors, mounted above the wheelhouse on telescopic masts. In the lower position the monitors can each deliver 1,200 cu/m of water per hour and when fully raised, to15m above the mounting, 600 cu/m/hour. A self protection water spray system is fitted and the entire installation supplied by fire pumps driven by the main engines.

Two Ibercisa MR-H/300/500-70/IS hydraulic towing winches are installed, one mounted at main deck level and the other on the deck above in a ‘Waterfall’ configuration. Both winches have a maximum brake holding load of 260 tons and a maximum line pull of 133 tons and carry 500m towlines of 70mm diameter steel wire rope. The towlines are deployed via a massive tubular fairlead mounted just aft of the lower winch and a single set of hydraulically operated tow pins and line handling gear is installed adjacent to the open stern. Spare towlines and pendants are readily available on powered reels and two ‘tugger’ winches are provided, one on either side of the winch fairlead.

An essential piece of equipment on any vessel of this type is a versatile deck crane. Baltic is fitted with a HMB Lintecc Marine crane with a capacity of 3.6 - 6.5 tons, capable of operation in wave heights of 2m and winds of Beaufort Force 6. The crane can be used for a wide range of duties including handling boats, skimmers and other pollution control equipment and transferring stores. In addition to the mandatory life saving equipment, Baltic carries a 7.2m Hatecke FRB 20-700SUBS fast rescue boat with a 120kW engine and a top speed of 30 knots.

The wheelhouse aboard Baltic is configured to afford an excellent view point for the tug Master regardless of the operations in hand. A comprehensive navigational and communications outfit is installed, suitable for the wide range of duties the ETV will have to undertake. A full width console forward houses the majority of essential propulsion system, navigational and communications controls and displays, and a further control station aft overlooks the after deck and winches.

Fully air conditioned accommodation of a very high standard is provided for a crew of ten in single cabins. Two additional double berth cabins are included for use by apprentices and other supernumeraries. Among the wide range of facilities to be found onboard Baltic are a large galley and associated storage facilities, a lounge, dining area, a ship’s office and teaching area, laundry and a gymnasium.

By Jack Gaston

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