Meyer’s Group has ordered two azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs from Damen Shipyards Group to operate in the newly expanded Panama Canal. The group has ordered two ASD 2913 design tugs with bollard pulls of at least 80 tonnes to meet the power requirements of the Panama Canal Authority.
The orders were in reaction to Meyer’s Group winning a contract last year to provide towage support in the new Panama Canal locks. The higher power requirements are needed as larger ships, especially large container ships, are using the key shipping route through Latin America.
Arcangel San Rafael is scheduled to be delivered in May this year and Arcangel San Gabriel could enter service in August. These highly-manoeuvrable tugs will have fire-fighting equipment to a FiFi1 standard and art winches for various workloads.
These tugs will raise Meyer’s Group’s fleet to 11 vessels. The owner already operates Damen-designed ASD tugs in Latin America. Virgen del Valle and Meyers Evo are deployed in Colon servicing the oil terminal of Las Minas and the Colon container terminal. Arcangel San Miguel is operating in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.
Panama Canal is launching a vessel scheduling and maritime resource-management system to optimise costs, improve safety and increase efficiency and reliability as the expanded waterway handles a growing number of ships.