Tugs Bound for World’s Largest Bulk Port


Damen Shipyards have received an order to build six rotor tugs for the world’s largest bulk export port.

Pilbara Marine, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, will use the 32-metre ART 85-32W rotor tugs for operations at Port Hedland on Australia’s west coast.

Fortescue Metals Group exports 165-170 million tonnes of iron ore per year and the new tugs will allow Pilbara Marine to provide long-term towage services, with additional stability factored in for escorting operations, which are conducted regularly at Port Hedland.

The tugs feature a 'Rotor Tug' propulsion system with three azimuth thrusters to deliver the full 85 tonnes of bollard pull over both the bow and the stern and 65% from amidships, which delivers additional benefits regarding maneuverability, braking, and engine and winch redundancy.

View Damen Shipyards Group in the PTI Supplier Directory

The six Rotor Tugs will be built at Damen’s Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam. The first two are scheduled for delivery ex-yard by the end of October 2018, with the remaining four due in early 2019.

Rebecca Hayward, Legal Manager Strategic Contracts and Developments, Fortescue Metals Group, said: “We are confident that our full operational requirements will be met by the new ART 85-32W design and are heartened by the fact that Damen will provide long term support here in Western Australia.”

Two Damen custom-built tugs were also recently ordered by the ports of Cayenne and Kourou in French Guiana.

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