TASPORTS has added RT Force to its towage fleet at the Port of Bell Bay.

TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said the 80-tonne bollard pull Rotortug would support existing and future projected shipping needs and volumes.

“This will be the first Rotortug operating not just in Tasmania but on the East coast of Australia,” Mr Donald said.

“The Rotortug is one of the most capable tugs in the industry and is utilised by some of the world’s largest ports – such as Rotterdam, Port Hedland and Brunei – to manage risk and optimise shipping.

“RT Force will also be a key element in ensuring the reliability of our customer’s supply chains through improved risk mitigation at one of Tasmania’s major deep water commercial ports.”

The Rotortug was invented by Kotug and, unlike traditional types of tug, it uses a three-thruster design, which provides manoeuvrability and improved response in the event of a marine emergency.

CEO of both Kotug and Rotartug Ard-Jan Kooren said the company is happy that RT Force has set sail to Tasmania to support the operations of TasPorts.

“For sure this robust vessel will improve the operations in terms of redundancy, cost savings, faster handling and accurate manoeuvring and enhanced safety. We look forward to a great cooperation,” Mr Kooren said.

All training, both for the tug crews and marine pilots, has been conducted in Tasmania at the Australian Maritime College under the guidance of Kotug’s dedicated Training and Consultancy division.

RT Force from above; Image: TasPorts

AMC Search CEO Dean Cook said, “AMC Search, the training and consultancy division of the Australian Maritime College, is honoured to have been selected by TasPorts to provide training support for the new tugboats”.

AMC Search uses a hydrodynamically accurate model of the new vessel that immerses TasPorts crew in a controlled simulated environment to practice operating the tugboats before taking the helm in the real world at the Port of Bell Bay.

“This world-class Rotortug simulation and training solution ensures the crew are familiar with the vessels prior to real-world operations and that they are operated safely and efficiently,” Mr Cook said.

RT Force was built in 2010 and began its career operating at the world’s largest bulk export port – the Port of Port Hedland in Western Australia. It is now being chartered by TasPorts.