SVITZER has signed an agreement for the delivery of five new tugboats to service BHP’s Port Hedland operations.

The new RAstar 2800 tugs are slated for delivery from the first half of 2024.

They are to operate on a long-term charter arrangement on a five-year term and with a five-year extension option, replacing older tugs as they enter service.

“Svitzer is committed to delivering safe, reliable and efficient tugs meeting all operational criteria to service this very busy and complex towage operation in Port Hedland,” Svitzer Australia managing director Nicolaj Noes said.

“We look forward to providing enhanced service quality to valued customers with the new tugs.”

It highlighted an 80-tonne bollard pull and Schottel SYDRIVE-M thrusters would enable the tugs to deliver power and emissions reduction.

Svitzer said its new vessels would also offer greater fuel efficiency and would deliver greater carbon emission savings over the charter term.

Svitzer noted it provides exclusive commercial representation on behalf of BHP to customers seeking to use BHP’s towage services in Port Hedland