A new tug for the Shetland Islands Council harbour operation at Sellaness was making her way up the east coast of Scotland this afternoon.
The 32m long, two-year-old, Multratug 29 is being “bare boat” chartered as part of the council’s tug fleet renewal project, and will replace the Tirrick which is being sold to Greek buyers.
Multratug 29 has been operated by Multraship as part of its fleet in the busy ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Terneuzen in Holland. The Damen 3212 class vessel is said by the council to be a very well tried and proven design. She has a 12m beam and a bollard pull of over 70 tonnes and was built in Vietnam.
Executive manager of ports and harbours John Smith said that the vessel was equipped with azimuth stern drive (ASD) – a type of 360 degree drive that had been installed in all the vessels with a proven track record that the council had looked at.
The Tirrick will leave Shetland next month after 33 years’ service. A “bare boat” charter means the Multratug 29 will be operated by SIC tug staff once they have completed a training and familiarisation programme.
SIC staff have already been on simulator and practical training courses in Holland on the new vessel and she will be accompanied by a training master and engineer as further familiarisation is carried out at the port of Sullom Voe. Once Multratug 29 has proven her satisfactory performance on the job then the Council has an option to buy the vessel.