Damen Shipyards has won an open tender for the supply of a tug to Port Autonome de Papeete on the Pacific island of Tahiti. Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of the French Republic. The tug will be Damen’s popular ASD 2810 model, a rugged, versatile vessel capable of delivering 60 tonnes of bollard pull. Pape’ete is the capital of French Polynesia and the economic hub of the archipelago.
Port Autonome de Papeete serves a wide range of vessels including local ferries, cargo ships, naval vessels, cruise ships and oil tankers and having a modern towage capability is vital for both the port and Tahiti given its remoteness and reliance on trade. With the current primary tug becoming increasingly outdated the decision was taken to acquire a new, more powerful vessel capable of handling the larger cargo, oil tankers and cruise ships expected in the coming years.
Following the award of the tender, Damen received 'L'ordre de Service' in early May. With an ASD 2810 in stock at Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam the process began immediately of finishing and commissioning her in accordance with French regulations, in time for delivery in early October this year. Additional equipment being fitted includes an extra aft winch and a Fi-Fi installation.
With French Polynesia being one of the remotest inhabited areas on Earth, an important part of the contract is ensuring that the tug will be properly supported and maintained. To meet this requirement, Damen has established a partnership with a local marine engineering company in Papeete that will operate in cooperation with the Damen Service Hub in Brisbane, Australia, 3220 nautical miles to the west. As well as keeping the ASD 2810 in good working order, this arrangement will result in a welcome transfer of skills and technology to the Tahitian maritime sector.
Vincent Maes, Sales Manager Asia Pacific for Damen, commented; “Fortunately as a group we have long experience of working on projects in France and its overseas territories. The Asia-Pacific and French sales teams worked closely on the tender to ensure that all the requirements were met and we are delighted to have been selected. We look forward to establishing a lasting relationship with the Port Autonome de Pape’ete in the years ahead, and to contributing to the local maritime economy via training and knowledge transfer.”
Georges Puchon, Port of Papeete General Manager, added “Damen was awarded the tender thanks to the good technical arguments, professional experiences and insuring after sales organisation and services in Tahiti. We hope that our collaboration will last for the best of each of us.”
With regard to other French projects, Damen Shipyards Antalya is currently building two 55-metre Fast RoPax 5510 ferries for the Collectivité de Saint Pierre et Miquelon, another French overseas territory, situated in the north western Atlantic Ocean near the Newfoundland and Labrador province of Canada. Delivery is scheduled for the end of this year.