While the wider global ship and boat building industry remains busy, productive and, apparently, largely unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the tug sector appears to be especially so.
As readers will learn this week from Baird Maritime’s Tug and Salvage Week, the tug and salvage sector is busy worldwide. Not only is it busy, but it is increasingly innovative as far as most aspects of tugs are concerned. Engines, propulsion systems, fuel types, safety equipment, instrumentation, automation, adaptability and versatility are all vital factors in modern tug design and construction.
Whether they be harbour tugs, escort tugs, inland waterway push-tugs, tug and barge combos, salvage or rescue tugs or whatever, they all, almost invariably, evince adaptability and flexibility. They are also generally more powerful yet more compact. Many are also genuinely multi-purpose.
Almost weekly, we learn of electric powered or hybrid tugs, even unmanned tugs. There are shallow draught tugs and tugs with up to four main engines. These are exciting times for tugs and, as the ships they serve, whether in towage or salvage roles, get ever larger, tugs inevitably grow ever more powerful and versatile.
Tugs • Towboats • Pusher Tugs • ATBs • Salvage • Autonomy • Marine Environment
It is also interesting to see the increasingly important roles of certain tug industry participants. The major owners, like Svitzer and Crowley; the designers like Robert Allan, Damen and Macduff Ship Design; and, the builders like Damen, globally, yards in China, and the fast growing Turkish trio. The sector is concentrating considerably and constantly. Specialisation seems to be the key at that level.
However, as far as actual vessels are concerned, flexibility and adaptability are becoming increasingly important. Many owners want multi-purpose tugs. An example of many of these developments, all wrapped in one vessel, is the very impressive and aptly named Brutus, a Damen newbuild with its diesel electric propulsion system comprising four main engines and producing 60 tonnes bollard pull on a shallow (2.85 metres) draught multi-purpose tug fitted with powerful deck cranes and winches.
Similarly, Crowley Marine’s new 94-tonne bollard pull tug Apollo is equally suited to harbour and escort work. Yet another Robert Allan design, it exhibits all the latest international developments that American owners have been sometimes slow to adopt.
Sanmar, from Turkey, have used another Robert Allan design in Eitan, a powerful new Voith Schneider tug for Israel. It has all the “bells and whistles” that such a propulsion system normally offers as well as some new tricks and 73.5 tonnes bollard pull.
There are some fine new vessels and much that is new in the way of designs and equipment for tugs to be seen on Baird Maritime this week.
- KOC Al-Zour – Kuwait Oil Company adds 60m oil recovery vessel to fleet
- Eitan – Tripmare deploys third powerful ship-handling tug for Israel’s Ashdod Port
- Brutus – Shallow-draught workhorse for Dutch offshore contractor
- Apollo – Crowley’s compact, eco-friendly escort tug to serve San Francisco Bay Area
News, Gear, and Book Reviews:
- Portugal’s MedTug expands towage fleet
- GEAR | Crowley’s first fully electric tug to get ABB propulsion
- French Navy to acquire new berthing support tugs
- GEAR | Turkish yard orders propellers, thrusters for HaiSea Marine’s terminal support tugs
- Refloating of grounded cargo ship at Karachi Port to start in mid-August, Pakistani official claims
- Parker Towing’s newest Mississippi River towboat formally named
- Weeks Marine adds new multi-role tug to fleet
- Svitzer inks 10-year contract with Philippines’ FGEN LNG
- Florida shipbuilder expands capacity with new testing and repair yard on Gulf Coast
- Kirby Inland Marine takes delivery of second towboat in series
- Dutch builder completes diesel-electric tug trio for Chemgas Shipping
- Oil removal completed on 53-year-old shipwreck in British Columbia waters
Recent Important Features:
– “Ships sinking actually cost the insurers money, whereas for the owners the loss of a vessel is often just an inconvenience and some more paperwork, even when seafarers have perished.”
– by Hieronymus Bosch, anonymous commentator and Baird Maritime’s insider in the world of offshore oil and gas operations
– “Selecting the best rope is about far more than just the price.”
– by Alan Loynd, former General Manager of the renowned Hong Kong Salvage and Towage company
Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!
Call for content!
Any news or views about the global tug and salvage sectors? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and July 30), so we can add it to this current edition of Tug and Salvage Week!
We are after:
- Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
- Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the tug and salvage sector
- Interviews – Owners, operators, builders, designers etc.
- Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the tug and salvage world? (example here)
- Other – Any other relevant news
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