Svitzer Australia will provide tugboats and a pilot boat to assist export shipments from the Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG Terminal under a marine services contract valued at approximately $650 million.
Svitzer, part of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, will supply four 33 meter-long, 80-tonne bollard-pull tugs to assist export vessels during the operational phase of the project at Ashburton North, 12km west of Onslow in Western Australia.
Crewed by Australian mariners, the azimuth stern drive vessels will use diesel electric engines to provide efficient, safe and environmentally friendly towage and escort capabilities for a period of at least 20 years from 2016.
Svitzer, a towage, salvage and emergency response specialist with 500 vessels in 40 countries, will also supply a 17.6m self-righting pilot boat that will be built by Hart Marine on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
“Similar to our existing LNG activities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, our No.1 priority while assisting carriers calling at Ashburton North will be protecting people, local waters and high-value marine assets,” said Svitzer Australia’s managing director, Mark Malone.
“As one of the largest maritime employers in Australia, we will draw on a wealth of knowledge from within our existing business to ensure locally employed crews are recruited and trained to operate these high-tech tugs. We are also committed to ongoing training and development and operate an employment and training program for local indigenous people interested in obtaining marine qualifications.”
Diesel electric propulsion systems will make the Ashburton tugs between 15 and 20 per cent more fuel efficient than conventional tugs and be complemented by the following eco-friendly features:
Non-hydraulic deck equipment to ensure no oil or liquid spillage (the equipment will be electric)
Surfaces finished in a low-sheen paint to reduce water reflection
Low-spilling sodium deck lights to reduce water penetration and disturbance during night operations
Double-walled fuel tanks to prevent leakage
Solar panels for water heating
Water recycling plant for onboard usage
The tugs have also been designed by Svitzer’s global technical team with a range of safety features for LNG terminal operations:
LNG alarms, remote closing fire flaps and pressurised accommodation
Dynamic escort winch with the capability to release the line under full towing conditions, minimising slack rope events and shock loads even in extreme weather
Side pocket ladder systems and wide opening bulwark doors on both sides to assist in MOB recovery
Capability for pilot transfer through a specially designed pilot-boarding platform
Throughout the life of the contract, Svitzer will provide new opportunities for local industries.
Svitzer will soon enter into a construction partnership and select a shipyard to build the tugs.
The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.