Damen Shipyards Group said it has booked an order from 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, bringing the port’s total bollard pull capability up to 105 tonnes.

South Port has selected an ATD due to its ability to undertake indirect towage and for the vessel’s excellent maneuverability and power, according to Damen.

Due to Damen’s practice of building standardized 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 the third quarter of this year.

The Dutch shipbuilding group said the contract has been made more complex by the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically, the customer would have been able to visit Damen’s premises and supervise construction of the vessel, but this is not possible at the present time.

South Port has, however, visited Damen’s clients in New Zealand, and 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, “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.”

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