The Port of Zeebrugge has awarded the concession for its towage services to Boluda Towage Europe in a contract that runs for five years and starts on 1 January 2021.
In a statement, Boluda Towage Europe said the concession is the renewal of an existing partnership and is extendable for a single period of three years.
It will see two new IMO Tier III compliant tugboats put to use.Aside from the Union Koala, that has already been retrofitted to IMO Tier III standards, Boluda Towage Europe will retrofit the Union Panda by the end of 2020.
The emissions of the remaining tugboats will be reduced in the first two years of the contract. As such, emissions of nitrogen oxides will be reduced with 80%. Shore power will also become the norm for moored tugboats, so that these can switch off their engines when inactive and during the rest-period of the crew.
This means the the focus of this partnership between Port of Zeebrugge and Boluda Towage Europe, according to the company, is in efficient, smooth, and safe handling of shipping at a competitive price point, and puts forward initiatives regarding sustainability.
In total eight tugboats will be put into action in the Port of Zeebrugge. These are all certified with the highest fire extinguishing standards. The tugs will be manned with local crew.
Boluda Towage Europe’s CEO, Geert Vandecappelle: “We are proud that the concession for the towage services in the Port of Zeebrugge has been reassigned to us for the coming five years.
“It is also thanks to our local crew members, and the support of their families that this concession was allocated to us.
“These crew members have given the best of themselves for our company in Zeebrugge, from the early years of URS until the present company Boluda Towage.
“Moreover, they have passed on their loyalty, passion, and professional attitude from generation to generation within their families.
“For them, this allocation is of major importance, as they can keep on exercising their profession in Zeebrugge for the years to come.
“From our long-standing partnership with the Port of Zeebrugge and our historical roots in this port, we have gained a lot of local knowledge.
“For the coming years, we will intensify our cooperation, where we can pursue our common goals to make the logistical chain in the Port of Zeebrugge more sustainable.”
Rik Goetinck, CEO a.i. Port of Zeebrugge: “The renewal of the partnership with Boluda Towage Europe means that a correct, loyal and professional service will be continued, and that we can further promote sustainable shipping in the Port of Zeebrugge.
“The initiatives of Boluda Towage Europe perfectly match our clean port strategy, and their long-term knowledge about the port ensures smooth and safe shipping.”