THERE will be a new tug on the block at Esperance in Western Australia in early 2025.

The new addition to the Mackenzie tug fleet to operate in Southern Ports’ Esperance will be called Tagon, named after the spectacular beach which was in turn is a tribute to the Tagon family who were early settlers in the region.

Tagon is being built in Song Cam shipyard, Vietnam, by Damen Shipyards which supplied Mackenzie Marine and Towage four previous tugs (2 x 2411 ASDs and 2 x 2412ATDs).

Mackenzie Marine and Towage MD Sean Mackenzie said the new class of tug is designed to achieve an improved level of low emission, low environmental impact tugboat operation.

Tagon is one of the very few tugboats in Australia to meet IMO Tier 3 emission standards using SCR (selective catalytic reduction system) removing up to 70% of nitrous oxides and sulfuric oxides from exhaust emissions while using caterpillar V12 engines rather than V16 to create fuel savings and thus lower emissions,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“Thanks to her operational flexibility the vessel can be used for harbour and terminal (un)berthing operations, escort operations, firefighting operations, coastal and offshore towing operations.”

At 28 by 13 metres, Tagon is driven by twin Caterpillar V12 engines, has firefighting capabilities of 2400 cubic metres per hour and accommodation for 10 people.

“In simplified terms, this new tug is powerful, with 70 tonnes bollard pull and a free-running speed of 12 knots. It delivers on being able to handle the biggest ships along with providing better environmental outcomes which we’ve always been keen to achieve.”

The new generation, environmentally friendly tug is also designed for emergency response towing with state-of-the-art gear to rescue ships and bring them to a safe anchorage.

“There’s always a risk of a marine pollution disaster on our beautiful coastline and Tagon’s capabilities will greatly reduce this. This was an important consideration when we commissioned her as this is all part of our commitment to the community and the environment.”

Mackenzie Marine and Towage holds the contract to operate tug services in Esperance and the new $10 million vessel joins three other tugs in the company’s fleet – Lillian Mac, Shoal Cape and Cape Pasley.

A fourth, Hellfire Bay, will leave the Port of Esperance after 15 years of continuous service. Mr Mackenzie said its next posting was still to be determined.