VESSEL REVIEW | Dolphin No 29 – Japan-built towing and firefighting tug for India’s Vizhinjam International Port

Photo: Indian Register of Shipping

Japanese shipbuilder Kanagawa Dockyard has handed over a new harbour tug to Indian port operator Adani Group.

Classed by the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), Dolphin No 29 is the fourth in a series of 13 tugs built by Kanagawa for the same customer. The newbuild is being operated out of the Adani-owned Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport in the state of Kerala near the southernmost tip of the Indian mainland.

The tug has joined earlier sister vessels Dolphin No 26, Dolphin No 27, and Dolphin No 28, which were delivered by Kanagawa to Adani beginning in the first quarter of 2019. All four tugs of this batch were acquired for a total cost of approximately INR2.25 billion (US$32.1 million) and are being operated under a 10-year concession for the provision of towing services at Vizhinjam Port, which is currently being developed into the country’s first mega transshipment container facility with a projected total capacity of at least seven million TEU.

Dolphin No 29 is slated to perform a wide range of duties that will include mooring, towing, berthing and unberthing assistance, and firefighting. This is because the operator expects that the tug and its sisters will serve as the main fleet of general-purpose vessels at Vizhinjam Port under the 10-year concession.

Like its sisters, the new tug has an LOA of 34.5 metres, a moulded beam of 11.4 metres, a moulded depth of 4.8 metres, a design draught of 3.6 metres, and a summer deadweight of 325 tonnes. Power is provided by two main diesel engines that each produce 1,640 kW. The engines drive a pair of Z-drive propellers to deliver a bollard pull of 55 tonnes and a free running speed of 13 knots.

The external firefighting system on Dolphin No 29 consists of two monitors and a PTO-driven pump with a flow rate of 2,400 cubic metres per hour, which IRClass said endows the tug with early stage firefighting capability in fulfillment of the class society’s AGNI 1 notation. This means that the tug’s own firefighting system is suitable for self-protection as well as for firefighting and rescue operations while fires on nearby structures or vessels are still at a manageable level that does not yet require continuous pumping of water and/or foam. This capability makes Dolphin No 29 an ideal quick reaction tug that can arrive on-scene in minutes and provide initial firefighting protection on a burning structure or vessel unless and until the situation requires dedicated firefighting vessels with greater discharge capacities.

Up to 14 crewmembers working in shifts can be accommodated on the tug at any given time, thus ensuring near-continuous operations in the waters of the Arabian Sea off Vizhinjam Port.

See more stories from this month’s Tug and Salvage Week here.

Dolphin No 29
Type of vessel:Harbour and firefighting tug
Classification:Indian Register of Shipping
Owner:Adani Group, India
Operator:Adani Group, India
Builder:Kanagawa Dockyard, Japan
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Steel
Deck construction material:Steel
Length overall:34.5 metres
Beam:11.4 metres
Draught:3.6 metres
Depth:4.8 metres
Deadweight tonnage:325
Main engines:2 x 1,640 kW
Propulsion:2 x Z-drive propellers
Maximum speed:13 knots
Bollard pull:55 tonnes
Firefighting equipment:PTO-driven pump with flow rate of 2,400 m³/h; 2 x monitors
Type of fuel:Diesel

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