Just over a year ago Sohar Industrial Port Company SAOC awarded Svitzer, the world’s leading tug operator, a contract renewal for marine services at the Port of Sohar in Oman. The renewal of this 15 year contract required a fleet development plan to provide the next generation of fit for purpose and highest safety standard vessels.
For these tugs Svitzer again returned to Sanmar Shipyards, Turkey’s world renowned tug building specialist, following Svitzer’s successful commissioning and operation of four 29m Sanmar-built (“Bigacay” Class) tugs to a brand new design for the Tanger Med 2 terminal in Morocco.
Leonardo Sonzio, Svitzer COO said at the time: “During the tender phase for Sohar Port and Freezone, Sanmar understood very well both the port’s and Svitzer’s requirements and was able to specify a reliable and cost effective solution, supporting our ambition to deliver safe and efficient towage services to our clients. Also, Sanmar’s track record in building high quality tugs and their ability to deliver on time positively contributed to the decision.”
The order consists of five azimuth stern drive (ASD) tugs from the Sanmar portfolio. Three “Bigacay” Class, designated by the designer Robert Allan Ltd. as the RAstar 2900SX and two “Sirapinar” Class, designated by the designer as RAmparts 2200; another relatively new design but which is rapidly gaining favour. The Sirapinar class tugs were delivered on their own keels to the Port of Sohar on February 14, 2020 and commissioned on site shortly thereafter.
“Sanmar handled the delivery with their own in-house delivery crew from Turkey to Oman through the Suez canal. The delivery was seamless and every part was handled very professionally by Sanmar from start to finish. The delivery was on time and most importantly done safely” said Peter Rosewall – Svitzer Port Manager, Sohar.
Svitzer’s Sirapinar class measure 22.40m x 10.85m coupled with an extreme draft of 4.5m. Achieving a free running speed of 12 knots, they are powered by a pair of Caterpillar 3512C main engines providing 2x1500Kw and paired with Schottel SRP 1012 azimuthing thrusters, bollard pull at trials was in excess of the guaranteed 50 tonnes. Designed for maximum efficiency and manoeuvrability in the performance of ship-handling duties for sea going ships, the hull form and layout have evolved over several years through the extensive experience of the designers at Robert Allan Ltd and the engineers at Sanmar, working with reputed tug owning clients such as Svitzer and their crews in developing truly high performance tugs.
Sanmar Vice President Ali Gurun said, “The Sohar boats represent a very good example of Sanmar’s customization of an otherwise standard design. Two exceptionally successful Robert Allan Ltd. exclusive designs that have been modified by our design and engineering teams in-house to suit Sohar’s challenging requirements within a very tight budget constraint”.
The other part of the order comprises three larger and more powerful Bigacay class ASDs providing a healthy 80 tonnes bollard pull with a high standard of machinery automation. Significant attention has been paid to maximizing crew safety and comfort, minimizing noise vibration, and reducing the overall environmental impact of the vessel.
With dimensions of 29.40m x 13.30m, the Bigacay is an exclusive model, the result of close cooperation between Robert Allan Ltd and Sanmar and in this case Svitzer, in customising the model for operations in Oman. A variant of the well sought after RAstar range, the Bigacay series has been developed to give high performance whilst still remaining relatively compact. They are equipped for operations over the bow and stern, with a powerful escort winch forward for escorting and ship-handling operations and a tow-hook aft for emergency towing.
Jacob Bac, Deputy Harbour Master at Port of Sohar commented “The Svitzer Liwa and Svitzer Barka bring a whole new level of towage to Sohar port. With their sharp handling and manoeuvrability along with their instant power and good looks, they certainly are a force to be reckoned with. We look forward to welcoming the Bigacay class tugs to Sohar in the near future.”
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