Napier Port, the third largest port on New Zealand’s North Island, has placed an order with Damen Shipyards Group for an Azimuth Tractor Drive (ATD) Tug 2412 Twin Fin for delivery later this year. The contract was signed by Sjoerd de Bruin, sales manager Pacific for Damen and Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson at Napier Port main office.
Napier Port is currently developing a sixth wharf which, at 350 metres long, will be capable of handling the larger vessels that are expected to access the port in the near future. As a key transport hub for the Hawke’s Bay region of the North Island, the port already hosts a wide range of vessels including container ships, cruise ships, cargo and timber carriers.
The ATD Tug 2412 Kawekawill join two existing Voith-type tugs at the port; the Te Mataand Ahuriri. Tractor tugs work best at Napier Port due to their ability to operate effectively in a swell, to tow indirectly, and their manoeuvrability, the last particularly important due to the tight berthing arrangements in the harbour. Just 24-metres in length but with 72 tonnes of bollard pull, the ATD Tug 2412 delivers just the combination of power but compactness that the Napier Port management team is seeking.
The short delivery time is due to the latest addition to the Napier fleet being available from stock at Damen Shipyards Song Cam in Vietnam. Following fitting-out she will be delivered between October and November. After-sales support will include a full package of crew training and vessel familiarisation.
“Damen is honoured to provide the port with a vessel directly available from stock,” said Damen’s Sjoerd de Bruin, “and the ATD Tug 2412 suits the port’s requirements perfectly. After an extensive tender process in which we competed with 14 other tugs, we are very pleased and proud to be the port’s preferred vendor. We are convinced that this is the start of a fruitful relationship between Napier Port and Damen as the port grows in capacity and importance.”
“Having a fleet of three tugs will be a major boost to our customer service and is an important step towards building the resilience and agility of our infrastructure,” said Napier Port CEO Todd Dawson.
“A strong port is important to our region’s economic prosperity as a gateway to and from global markets. Over the last two years cargo volumes have increased by 25% and we anticipate growth will continue over the next ten years. That means we need to grow our capacity so that we can continue to support our customers,” Mr Dawson continued.