The world’s leading tug operator, Svitzer, has ordered five new ASD tugs for round-the-clock operational support for vessel movements in, Oman. The renewal of a 15 year contract for Svitzer to provide marine services to Sohar Industrial Port Company SAOC meant a fleet development plan to provide the next generation of fit for purpose and highest safety standard vessels.

For these tugs, Svitzer has returned to Sanmar Shipyards, Turkey’s world renowned tug building specialist after Svitzer’s successful commissioning and operation of four 29m Sanmar-built tugs to a brand new design at the Tanger Med 2 terminal. Indeed, feedback from Svitzer has been most complimentary for what are claimed to be the most powerful tugs in the entire Mediterranean region.

Leonardo Sonzio, Svitzer COO said: “During the tender phase for Sohar Port and Freezone, Sanmar understood very well both the port’s and Svitzer’s requirements and was able to specify a reliable and cost effective solution, supporting our ambition to deliver safe and efficient towage services to our clients. Also, Sanmar’s track record in building high quality tugs and their ability to deliver on time positively contributed to the decision.”

The new tug order includes three vessels of the same model – the Sanmar Bigacay Class, known by the designer, Robert Allan Ltd, as the RAstar 2900 SX. The other part of the order consists of two Sirapinar, RAmparts 2200, Class tugs, another relatively new design but which is rapidly gaining favour. Some nine examples are now operational, mostly in European waters, and more are in the pipeline. Measuring 22.40m x 10.84m, these versions will have a bollard pull of 50 tonnes ahead and are designed for maximum efficiency and manoeuvrability in the performance of ship-handling duties for sea going ships. The hull form and layout have evolved over several years through the extensive experience of the designers at Robert Allan Ltd and the engineers at Sanmar, working with tug owning clients and their crews in developing truly high performance tugs.

The other part of the order comprises will be three large powerful Bigacay class ASDs giving a healthy 80 tonnes bollard pull with a high standard of machinery automation. Significant attention has been paid to maximising crew safety and comfort, minimising noise vibration, and reducing the overall environmental impact of the vessel. With dimensions of 29.40m x 13.30m, the Bigacay is an exclusive model, the result of close cooperation between Robert Allan Ltd and Sanmar. A variant of the well sought after RAstar range, the Bigacay series has been developed to give high performance whilst still remaining relatively compact. They are equipped for operations over the bow and stern, with a powerful escort winch forward for escorting and ship-handling operations and a tow-hook aft for emergency towing.

Being tailored to the builder’s advanced construction techniques has led to lower build costs while still meeting the customisation requirements of discerning clients. The RAstar escort/offshore terminal tug designation is reserved for a range of high performing ASD tugs with unique sponsoned hull form which has been proven to provide significantly enhanced escort towing and seakeeping performance.

Ali Gürün, Project Director at Sanmar said “We are proud to continue to work with Svitzer, who are challenging us to provide high spec but low cost tugboats. We have worked very closely with the client and designer to customise and optimize these tugs so that Svitzer could fulfil the tender requirements with economical solutions. The key parameters of the contract include state-of-the-art design, high build quality and a very tight delivery schedule.”

Sanmar has been producing tugboats and providing services for numerous countries around the world for more than 40 years. Well in excess of 200 tugboats benefiting from all this wealth of experience are presently in operation on international seas.