SVITZER has completed an upgrade of towage services provided to Southern Ports in Albany with the entry into service of Svitzer Karoline.

Svitzer Karoline arrived this month and following crew familiarisations has now entered into service, joining sister tug Svitzer Maryon, which arrived earlier in the year on 20 January. The pair is part of a fleet of ex six Riverwijs-owned, Karratha-based tugs that previously serviced the Woodside LNG operation, now taken over by Svitzer with a fleet of newbuildings.

The latest Albany tugs, fresh from overhauls at AMC Henderson, are RAMPART ASD 3000s with 66 tonne bollard pull, enhanced firefighting equipment and emergency towage capability – providing a big jump in performance to support shipping within the port, Svitzer says.

Southern Ports COO Robert Alexander welcomed the arrival of the two new tugs and the increase in capability for Albany.

“We’re pleased to welcome these powerful new tugs to our Port of Albany operations as part of our ongoing partnership with Svitzer Australia,” said Mr Alexander. “Tugs play a vital role within our ports, working under the command of our marine team to welcome more than 160 visiting vessels last year and supporting our Port of Albany to achieve its trade record of 5.5 million tonnes.”

Svitzer Australia GM-West, Tully Barnes, said the new tugs were part of Svitzer’s ongoing investment in maritime infrastructure across Australia – including regional Australia.

“We are committed to investing progressively into the Australian supply chain and these new tugs will help future proof the port of Albany for trade growth, cruise ship arrivals and other new vessels calling in on the port for years to come.”

Svitzer Karoline and Svitzer Maryon boast a combined firefighting capability of 1200 cu m/hour and 50% greater bollard pull than the tugs they replace, Koona and Karoo, which had served the port since 2011. Both have now been sold, with Koona going to Broome Marine & Tug and Karoo, now registered in the Cook Islands and reported owned by NZ interests, currently at Yamba undergoing overhaul.