Sharjah Ports Authority and Damen Shipyards officially celebrated the keel laying of two new vessels on December 11. Mr. Mohammed Meer Al Sarrah, Director of the Department of Seaports and Customs at the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone presided over the ceremony, which was held at Damen Shipyards Sharjah, a new facility in the Dutch Group.
The United Arab Emirates port and customs authority has been a long-term customer of Damen and already has eight Damen Stan Tugs in its fleet. The new Damen ASD Tug 2411 is the port’s first ASD tug and the Damen Stan Pilot 1605 FRP, boasts the latest pilot boat design, with a chimed hull and modified Axe Bow, providing superior sea keeping abilities. The new pilot vessel is capable of 33 knots.
The order for the two new vessels is the first time the Port Authority will take delivery of vessels built in Hamriyah Free Zone in Sharjah, which is one of three ports owned by Sharjah Ports Authority.
With a 67 tonne bollard pull ahead, the Damen ASD Tug 2411 will be deployed in Khor Fakkan, while the pilot boat will be stationed in Port Khalid. The ASD Tug, which is equipped with FiFi 1 and water spraying notation.
Eight ASD tugs under construction
Based in the Hamriyah Free Zone, Damen Shipyards Sharjah FZE was opened by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah on January 13, 2014. Currently, eight vessels are under construction at the yard - four Damen ASD Tug 2411 and four ASD Tug 2810 types.
Pascal Slingerland, Damen Sales Manager Middle East, who was previously the project manager for the construction of Damen Shipyards Sharjah, commented: “The ASD Tugs are highly maneuverable and powerful vessels and ideally suited for Khor Fakkan, which has recently undergone a large expansion.
“The Port Authority knows our vessels are reliable; we have built some 60 Damen ASD 2411 tugs over the years and a large number of these vessels are operating very successfully here in the UAE. With such a large number of Damen tugs operating in this region, it is a big advantage that Damen is based in the Port Authority’s own Free Zone, when construction is going on and thereafter so we can support Sharjah Port Authority with our onsite warranty and service engineers and our modern dry dock facility.”
In addition, ASD training is being provided by Damen after delivery of the vessel. “Our services could continue with a broad range of options for the deployment phase; from a computerized Maintenance Management System and technical assistance wherever needed, to training programs and Customer Service Agreements.”
Damen Shipyards Sharjah has a 5,200 tonne ship lift and is suitable for new build vessels, repairs, maintenance and conversion activities. Full-time Damen service and warranty engineers are also based in Sharjah.