SVITZER has awarded a contract for the construction of two new tugs – the first of their kind in Australia – for the company’s Newcastle operations.

Svitzer signed a contract with Uzmar Shipyard in Türkiye for two TRAnsverse tugs, which are to commence operations at the port in 2025.

The new tugs will be the first TRAnsverse tugs deployed in Australia, according to Svitzer, and the second and third deployed globally.

Designed in collaboration with naval architect Robert Allan Ltd, the tugs are expected to reduce fuel use by 10% to 15% compared with other tugs on the market.

Svitzer said the vessels will also be built to a specification that enables biofuel operations bringing tank-to-wake carbon emissions to zero.

“We have been listening closely to our customers and their need for innovative towage solutions,” Svitzer CEO Kasper Friis Nilaus said.

“The TRAnsverse tug offers significant improvements in operational efficiency, flexibility and sustainability by improving shipping turnaround times and reducing carbon emissions, helping customers to manage the demands of the modern towage market and the complex, busy port environments of today and the future.

“The scale of Svitzer’s operations, collaboration with customers and deep understanding of port operations globally enables us to design and invest in the best possible towage solutions.

“We are committed to building new tugs that meet the highest of efficiency standards and that support our customers and port operations in reducing their scope 3 emissions and total carbon footprint, whilst not compromising – and indeed improving – on safety and operational performance.”

Svitzer described the Port of Newcastle as a busy, diverse port operation with a complex harbour, tidal restrictions and channel environment needing escort towage and direct and indirect towage capabilities.

A range of vessels call the port, from capsize ships carrying coal, to bulk, container and cruise ships.

It said TRAnsverse tugs are designed to meet the full range of complex harbour and terminal towage environments, which reduces the time of tug jobs, enables greater availability in poor weather conditions, reduces emissions and enhances safety.

Svitzer said the complexity of Newcastle’s towage operations and the range of vessels that call the port would “showcase the full range” of the TRAnsverse tugs’ capabilities.