Wednesday 18th Jul, 2018

New tug business to hit Aussie market

Engage Marine Chief Executive Officer, Mark Malone. Photo: Jim Wilson
Engage Marine Chief Executive Officer, Mark Malone. Photo: Jim Wilson

A NEW tug business is set to make a splash in Australia, with the announcement this week of the creation of Engage Marine Pty Ltd.

Engage Marine is linked with Westug which is to continue to operate in its Pilbara market as a subsidiary of the new entity.

According to a company statement, the business has been established to bring about change, with a focus on “collaboration, technology and innovation”.

Chief executive Mark Malone said the concept had been in the works for some time.

“Engage Marine has been 12 months in the making and is built upon the success of Westug, which has over 25 years’ experience in marine operations in Western Australia,” he said.

“We believe there are better ways of doing things and we want to make a difference”.

The new entity has strong links with Svitzer, now a competitor, with Mr Malone having been that company’s managing director for Australasia for almost five years.

Chief commercial officer Rob Chignell, chief performance officer Kim Summerill and general manager strategy and implementation Shaun Thomas all have extensive Svitzer background.

Port Authority of New South Wales chief executive and director, Grant Gilfillan spoke warmly about the concept.

“At Port Authority of New South Wales we see the need for higher levels of marine service predictability and greater efficiency in the coordination of and timeliness of ship departures,” Mr Gilfillan was quoted as saying via YouTube.

“The news that Engage Marine is committed to the task of innovating and improving these services is a welcome announcement.”

In a YouTube clip, Ms Summerill talked of overcoming “legacy issues”.

“You find a lot of the existing companies are restricted by legacy issues, because it’s always been done that way. I think that kind of culture really restricts innovation and limits the ability of companies to deliver maximum value to their customers.”

Mr Malone went further, noting many tug arrangements were unsatisfactory umbrella agreements for multiple ports.

“A lot of the arrangements that are in place across multiple locations,” he said.

“Each individual location is receiving a compromised level of service.”

Mr Malone said a key element would be setting up a joint venture with the people involved in a particular project.

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