KOTUG Australia has announced it has won a contract to operate a tugboat fleet for Fortescue Metals Group at Port Hedland.
The fleet consists of six Fortescue ART 85-32W tugs and three KOTUG tugs, the latter being chartered directly to Fortescue.
This follows Fortescue being awarded a second towage license for Port Hedland in May 2016.
KOTUG has, in turn, appointed Westug to manage Pilbara operations.
Westug provides specialised marine services to several industries and has bases throughout Australia including the Pilbara, Melbourne and Whyalla.
According to a KOTUG statement, this system aims to leverage health, safety, environmental and quality standards, as well as operational performance.
“KOTUG believes that this unique combination of local Australian knowledge and worldwide operational experience is not only vital to providing a reliable, safe and long-term solution to Fortescue’s and Port Hedland’s terminal service vessel requirements, but will be a resource to Fortescue’s terminals, in any marine endeavour,” said Ard-Jan Kooren, CEO at KOTUG.
Westug chief executive, Mark Malone, said he was pleased to support and partner with KOTUG.
“Westug has a wealth of experience in the delivery of towage operations in Western Australia and combining our capabilities with the world leader in Rotortug design and operation, enables us to deliver a complete solution to Fortescue and Port Hedland port users,” Mr Malone said.
KOTUG services in the Australian region include sixteen terminals to infield support vessels.
Of these, fifteen are based on the Rotortug configuration, serving BHP, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Shell and ConocoPhillips.