On 13th March, Damen Shipyards Group signed a contract with South Port New Zealand for the delivery of a Damen Azimuth Tractor Tug (ATD) 2412. The vessel, with 65 tonnes bollard pull, will replace an older vessel with 35 tonnes bollard pull. This will bring the port’s total bollard pull capability up to 105 tonnes, increasing safety margins in the handling of large vessels.
South Port has selected an ATD due to its ability to undertake indirect towage and for the vessel’s excellent manoeuvrability and power.
The contract has been given extra complexity by the Covid-19 pandemic. Typically, the customer would have been able to visit Damen’s premises and supervise construction of the vessel. At the present time this is not possible.
South Port has, however, visited Damen’s clients in New Zealand. These visits gave them confidence in the Damen quality. South Port General Manager Geoff Finnerty said, “We were impressed with the quality of the tugs Damen has delivered to other New Zealand ports. Their reputation for building long lasting reliable vessels was an important factor in choosing to partner with them.”
Damen sales manager Asia Pacific Sjoerd de Bruin said, “We are very honoured by the trust placed in us by South Port with this contract at such a challenging time. This is a significant sale for Damen and investment for South Port, representing the largest capital expenditure since their company began in 1989. I am impressed with the proactive, efficient way they have managed the process. I am looking forward to delivering this vessel to them and have full confidence that she will meet their needs.”
Due to Damen’s practice of building standardised vessels in series and for stock, the ATD Tug 2412 was already being built at Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam at the time of contract signing. The yard will complete construction and deliver the vessel in Q3 this year.
South Port, based in New Zealands Southland, is the southernmost port in the country. It offers a comprehensive range of marine services and is ideally situated to service the region’s extensive import and exports industries, covering diverse sectors.