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Cuba tops Latin America tug purchases

Fri 09 Feb 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Cuba tops Latin America tug purchases
Aries II is a Damen-built ASD 2810 tug with 60 tonnes of bollard pull

Empresa de Navegación Caribe of Cuba has acquired five tugs from Damen Shipyards, while another Damen-built tug started operations in French Guiana

There have been strong levels of tugboat fleet additions in Latin America in Q4 2017 and the first month of 2018. Owners are reacting to the needs to increase their capabilities to handle larger ships and to modernise their fleets by purchasing new assets.

Cuba maritime company Gemar’s subsidiary Empresa de Navegación Caribe was behind the largest of these tug orders in terms of units purchased in Q4 2017. It has expanded its towage capabilities with the addition of five tugs to its fleet.

Damen Shipyards has delivered four Stan Tug 2608 design vessels and one 28 m azimuth stern drive (ASD), named Aries II, to the company, from its construction bases in Vietnam and the Netherlands. It built these tugs in its Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam before transporting them to Damen Shipyards Gorinchem where they were finished and held in stock. It therefore only took three weeks between the orders being confirmed and the five tugs reaching Cuba.

The 26 m Stan tugs are each fitted with an aft winch and have a bollard pull of 47 tonnes. Aries II is of an ASD 2810 design and has 60 tonnes of bollard pull. It is equipped with a lifting crane and a fire-fighting system. These five tugs will be based in Havana but operate around Cuba’s main and subsidiary islands supporting Gemar’s fleet of tankers and roro ferries.

Damen Shipyards was also busy with an order for another ASD tug for South American operations, delivering a shallow-draught harbour tug to support port activities in French Guiana. It has supplied an ASD 2310 SD design tug, Papillon, to a joint venture between De Boer Remorquage and Iskes Towage & Salvage.

It was built in 2017 at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, in the Netherlands and in January it started a 12-year contract with Grand Port Maritime de Guyane in the ports of Cayenne and Kourou in French Guiana. It is assisting vessels entering and leaving the ports but also conducts survey activities and small transport work. It also provides emergency assistance, such as fire-fighting.

Grand Port Maritime de Guyane consultant Earthcase and Hydro GC and the French maritime authorities contributed to the design of Papillon. Another Damen-designed and built tug will be joining it later this year; this one will be a hybrid tug configured to conduct dredging duties as well.

In Peru, Tramarsa is expanding its fleet with a new 24.4 m escort and harbour tug, which it has ordered from China’s Jiangsu Wuxi Shipyard. This will be a RAmparts 2400-W design unit with 75 tonnes of bollard pull. It will be named Lima and will be classed by ABS for unrestricted navigation and towage. It will have a FiFi 1 fire-fighting system and engine power of 4,480 kW from two engines of 2,240 kW each.

In Brazil, Wärtsilä has signed a memorandum of understanding with Petrocity, the parent company of the new port facility being built in São Mateus, to develop a harbour tug design. This will be based on the Wärtsilä HYTug, which features hybrid propulsion and energy storage using batteries. It will also have an upgraded developed energy management system to optimise power distribution and loads.


Green tug ordered for Canadian operations

SAAM Smit Towage (SST) has ordered the first tug that meets IMO Tier III emissions rules in Canada for escort and berthing operations in British Columbia. It has ordered a RAstar 3200-W design tug from Uzmar Shipyard in Turkey.

This 32 m tug will have a bollard pull of more than 80 tonnes, making it the most capable escort-rated, multi-mission tug in both SST Canada’s fleet and along the entire west coast of Canada. It was designed for conducting berthing, terminal standby duties and escort duties in heavy weather conditions.

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