Turkey-based Sanmar Shipyards has won, in a competitive bid process, a contract to build a pair of custom designed icebreaking tugs for celebrated Finland-based operator, Alfons Hakans. This family-owned company, a major towage and salvage company with decades of regional expertise in the Northern Baltic Sea region, has signed a contract for a pair of 67 tonne bollard pull ice class ASD tugs with Sanmar. The technical specifications and drawings produced by tug designer, Robert Allan Ltd, include a number of special features to cater for arctic conditions.

This is a most significant contract,” affirmed Rob Allan, the Executive Chairman of the renowned Canadian naval architectural practice. Sanmar’s Managing Director, Cem Seven, agreed. “We are proud to win another custom design tugboat construction tender. It demonstrates that not only are we able to supply stock designs from an extensive portfolio but we are recognised by the world’s leading operators such as Alfons Hakans to possess the skills and quality of workmanship and advanced working practices to carry out prestigious and complex tug building projects at a competitive price. I can also announce,” he continued, “that Sanmar will now be adding ice class tugs into its standard range.”

The new pair of tugs follow the principles established by the designer’s proven TundRA series design but with dimensions of 31.50m LOA by 12.00m beam and an operational draft of 5.60m. Incorporating a propulsion plant comprising a pair of Caterpillar 3512C main engines, each developing 2000bkw at 1600 rev/min, these will be coupled to Rolls-Royce Z-drive thrusters type US 255P30 fitted with 2,600mm diameter CP propellers in nozzles. To provide the vessels’ electrical needs, both tugs have two Caterpillar C7.1 generator sets each of 118kW.

“The development of a major icebreaking tug for Alfons Hakans, is very important for us at Robert Allan Ltd,” said Dr Oscar Lisagor, Project Director. “We are very pleased to have been selected as the designer of this major icebreaking tug for an operator in Finland, a country with its own extensive knowledge and heritage of icebreakers and ice class vessel design and operation. The collaboration between Alfons Hakans, with extensive practical experience in harbour tug operations and icebreaking, and Robert Allan Ltd with its long history of ice breaking vessels and compact icebreaker-tug designs resulted in the development of a very unique and high-performance work boat.”

Robert Allan Ltd has a history of working with Sanmar which goes back to the early 90s and covers the construction of fast approaching 200 tugs. Continued Dr Lisagor, “For Sanmar, the contract to build such high-profile icebreaking tugs is also very important – they will be the first vessels with heavy ice class to be built by them – opening another chapter in their expertise in shipbuilding and strengthens their position as a world leader in all aspects of tugboat development.”

These new tugs are specifically designed for the year-round service in the Baltic Sea and particularly in the Northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia which is covered with heavy ice in wintertime They will be capable of performing multiple tasks including escort, ship assist, icebreaking and ice management and open sea towing.

The tug has a unique balanced design that combines good seakeeping and relatively high free-running speed in open water with substantial escort performance and at the same time has an effective icebreaking capability. Accomplishing all these objectives efficiently was a major design challenge and has been accomplished through careful research and analysis of the hull form.

“This was a challenging task as just compliance with ice class doesn’t provide required strength and performance,” confirmed Alfons Hakans’ Managing Director, Joakim Hakans. “ In addition combining good icebreaking and true escort performance is like mixing ice and fire, but with excellent co-operation with designer and operator these requirements were met.” Special arctic condition features being provided by the shipyard include special ice resistant coatings, a heat recovery system for the accommodation and main engine heating, a very high level of navigation equipment and Aqua pilot control levers with a special crawling mode. A 7 tonne/m Palfinger hydraulic telescopic knuckle boom deck crane is to be fitted but the structure is reinforced for the possible future installation of a 60 tonne/m crane.