PORT Authority of New South Wales has announced the signing of a non-exclusive towage licence with Smit Lamnalco for towage services in Sydney and Port Botany.

The signing is the second licence issued to a towage provider in the state following an agreement with Svitzer Australia last month.

“We are extremely pleased to have Smit Lamnalco join us in this initiative,” said Port Authority chief executive Philip Holliday following the signing with David Fethers, managing director, Smit Lamnalco Australia & PNG.

“This agreement will further strengthen safety, efficiency and emergency response capabilities within the ports to the benefit of all port stakeholders.”

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The non-exclusive towage licence was developed to set new safety standards for towage services in the state’s ports.

The licence requires a minimum tug fleet to be maintained within the ports meaning towage services are to be available at any time and ready to start within two hours of a booking request.

The licence also sets an obligation to share information, participate in joint simulation exercises with Port Authority and sets quality of service standards, including compliance and training programs for staff.

From 15 June 2020, a harbour master’s direction is to require any vessel requiring pilotage in Sydney Harbour or Botany Bay to only use towage providers who hold a non-exclusive towage licence.

Port Authority is now looking to extend the non-exclusive towage licences to towage providers across other ports in NSW.

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