The Meyer’s Group has ordered two, powerful Damen ASD 2913 Tugs to operate in the newly expanded Panama Canal. At an official signing ceremony at the Panama Maritime XIII World Conference, Michel Mittelmeyer, Chief Executive Officer said the Meyer’s Group was awarded a contract last year to offer towage support in the new Panama Canal locks. These new tugs fulfil the requirements of the Panama Canal Authority as more powerful vessels, of at least 80 tonnes bollard pull, are needed given the ever-increasing size of vessels, adds Mr Mittelmeyer.
These two additions will give the company an 11-strong fleet, and six of these are Damen vessels.
Commenting on why the Panamanian company decided to place a fresh order with the Dutch shipyard group, Mr Mittelmeyer says: “We have known Damen Shipyards Group for many years now, and respect the quality of its vessel construction and this is coupled with very good service support.”
Quality of construction
In 2012, the Meyer’s Group bought two Damen ASD 2810 Tugs and an ASD 3212. But before this, the company had also chartered many Damen vessels.
“Damen provides reliable, quality vessels, which are cost-efficient in the longer term. That is why we decided to remain loyal to Damen again this time.”
The latest two additions – Arcangel San Rafael and Arcangel San Gabriel – will join the fleet in May and August.
“The company really wants to maintain a very new fleet in Panama,” he stresses. “With the Panama Canal expansion there has been a substantial pick-up in activity. And even though there maybe fewer feeder vessels, these are being replaced with the mega containerships and tankers, hence the need for stronger, versatile tugs.”
He adds: “The Damen ASD 2913 has great manoeuvrability, is very responsive, safe, comfortable for the crew and provides top quality.”
Damen could also provide a fast delivery time for the vessels, which are being customised with aft winches and FiFi 1.
“We know we can rely on Damen. It always provides support and assistance, which is another reason for our loyalty. All the pieces of the jigsaw fit together!”
Damen Sales Manager Latin America, Pieter Becker, adds: “The Meyer’s Group is a very loyal customer and it is a good sign that they have come back to us again. Damen very much enjoys partnering the Meyer’s Group and supporting them in their success. It is also nice that Damen tugs now have a significant presence at the Panama Canal.”
Two Damen ASD Tugs – Virgen del Valle and Meyers Evo are deployed in Colon servicing the oil terminal of Las Minas and the Colon Container Terminal. Arcangel San Miguel is operating in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.