VESSEL REVIEW | Svitzer Abrolhos & Svitzer Wilu – Efficient escort and firefighting tugs to support Western Australia iron ore trade

Svitzer Wilu

Svitzer Australia recently took delivery of two new tugs in a series built by ASL Shipyard in Singapore.

Designed by Canadian naval architects Robert Allan Ltd (RAL), Svitzer Abrolhos (named after a chain of islands off Western Australia) and Svitzer Wilu (the Aboriginal word for “seaside”) will be operated by Svitzer Australia in conjunction with Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA) out of the Port of Geraldton. The near identical sisters are being operated out of Geraldton alongside Svitzer North, another ASL-built tug albeit from a different RAL series.

The two Z-drive-powered tugs were designed to operate both ahead and astern with enhanced manoeuvrability, enabling them to perform both escort and coastal towing duties with ease. They are also capable of operating under heightened weather conditions and during emergency events, being equipped with a main engine-driven pump and two monitors in compliance to Lloyd’s Register’s FiFi1 notation. This allows them to greatly expand the MWPA’s emergency response capability at the port, which is an important hub in the export of iron ore from Western Australia.

Svitzer Abrolhos and Svitzer Wilu each have an LOA of 28.4 metres excluding the fenders, a moulded beam of 12.8 metres, a moulded depth of 4.68 metres, a maximum draught of 5.71 metres, and a gross tonnage of 443.

Each tug is designed to be operated by a crew of eight. Accommodations in the deckhouse include an entrance lobby, a galley, a mess, two officer cabins with en suite toilets, and a change room with laundry and WC. The lower deck contains three double berth cabins each with an ensuite toilet.

The wheelhouse is designed with a single split control station that provides maximum all-round visibility and unobstructed views of the bow and side fendering, which consists of W and D blocks. The towing equipment includes winches and a windlass from Ibercisa and a tow hook supplied by Data Hidrolik.

Although not in the same series as Svitzer North, the newer near identical sisters share a number of similarities with the earlier tug. On each of the newer tugs, the main propulsion also comes in the form of two Caterpillar 3516C 2,240kW diesel engines driving a pair of Schottel SRP 460FP Z-drive units with fixed-pitch propellers to deliver a bollard pull of just over 70 tonnes.

Like Svitzer North, the newer tugs are also equipped with a pair of Caterpillar C4.4 generators that each produce 86 ekW at 50 Hz. These supply power to a comprehensive electronics suite that includes a radar, a depth sounder, an autopilot, GPS, AIS, and a plotter from Simrad, Sailor radios, internal communications equipment and a loudhailer from Zenitel, and A2 area-certified GMDSS equipment.

The engine room features an acoustically isolated switchboard room. Jotun paint was used on all exterior surfaces while vinyl finishing was used for the interior floors.

Lastly, a 10-person liferaft is also available on board each tug.

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

Svitzer Abrolhos & Svitzer Wilu
Type of vessel:Escort tugs
Classification:LR ✠100A1, Escort Tug, Fire Fighting Ship 1 with water spray, ✠ LMC, UMS, *IWS, Unrestricted Navigation
Owner:Svitzer Australia
Operator:Svitzer Australia
Designer:Robert Allan Ltd, Canada
CAD software:AutoCAD; Rhino; Ansys CFD
Builder:ASL Shipyard, Singapore
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Steel
Deck construction material:Steel
Length overall:28 metres
Length waterline:27 metres
Beam:12.8 metres
Draught:5.7 metres
Depth:4.68 metres
Gross tonnage:443
Net tonnage:132
Main engines:2 x Caterpillar 3516C, each 2,240 kW at 1,800 rpm
Propulsion:2 x Schottel SRP 460FP Z-drives with fixed-pitch propellers
Generators:2 x Caterpillar C4.4, each 86 ekW at 50 Hz
Maximum speed:12.8 knots
Bollard pull:70 tonnes
Batteries:Fukuda MF200-12V; Fukuda MF-150-12V; Fukuda MF-120-12V
Electronics supplied by:CAN Trader
Radar:Simrad R3016 12U/6X P X-band
Depth sounder:Simrad S3009
Radios:Sailor 6310; Sailor 6222; Zenitel VSP BTS talkback/loudhailer system
Satcom:Simrad HS80A
Weatherfax:Sailor 6391
Autopilot:Simrad AP70
Compass:Liliey and Gillie SCH150
GMDSS:Sea Area A2
GPS:Simrad P3007
Plotters:Simrad NSOevo3
AIS:Simrad V5035 Class A
Audio/video system:Alpine CDE-173EBT
Alarm/monitoring system:Mega-Guard VMS
Cameras/night vision:Hikvision, DS-2CD2143G0-I(S)
Other electronics:Sestrel NT1000 electronic inclinometer; RM Young ultrasonic anemometer
Winch:Ibercisa MR-H/200/2×225-60/1
Capstan/windlass:Ibercisa MAN-H/V/17.5-22-S/1
Other deck equipment:Data Hidrolik DTH 90-135 tow hook
Fendering:Stern cylindrical fender; W-fender on bow and stern; sheer D-fender
Interior lighting:SOP LED downlight
External lighting/searchlight/s:SOP LED Watertight Luminaire; IMAX350RC LED
Floor/deck surface finishes:Floating interior floors with vinyl finishing
Interior designer:ASL Shipyard
Interior fitout/furnishings:Marine standard prefabricated furniture
Firefighting equipment:Pump; back-up pump; 2 x monitors
Liferaft:10 person
Type of fuel:Diesel
Fuel capacity:102,800 litres
Fuel consumption:1,100 L/h
Freshwater capacity:17,100 litres
Sewage/blackwater capacity:10,400 litres
Accommodation:3 x 2-berth cabins; 2 x officer cabins; en suite toilets; lobby; galley; mess; change room with laundry area

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