Ports North and the Port of Townsville Ltd, through the Queensland Government, have issued tenders for the provision of towage services in Cairns, Mourilyan, Lucinda and/or Townsville.

The two companies say they are considering issuing exclusive licence(s) for the ports for towage services for a 10-year operating term comprising an 8-year initial term from 1 July 2025 plus an option at the discretion of POTL or Ports North, as applicable, to extend for up to a further 2 years.

The following towage service provision options are to be considered:

  1. Option 1 – Two separate exclusive towage licence(s) for the ports of: a) Cairns / Mourilyan; and b) Townsville / Lucinda.
  2. Option 2 – Two separate exclusive towage licence(s) for the ports of: a) Cairns/Mourilyan/Lucinda; and b) Townsville.
  3. Option 3 – Three separate exclusive towage licence(s) for the ports of: a) Mourilyan/Lucinda; and b) Cairns; and c) Townsville.
  4. Option 4 – One exclusive towage licence for the ports of Cairns, Mourilyan, Lucinda, and Townsville.

Applicants are invited to submit a tender on the four towage service provision options outlined above. Tenderers may, but are not required to submit a ender for each option, and may but are not required to submit a tender for each licence within an option.

For example, a tenderer may submit a tender for the Cairns/Mourilyan licence within option 1, and/or the Cairns/Mourilyan/Lucinda licence within option 2, but not tender for any other licence, the port companies say.

Currently, Townsville is served by Smit Lamnalco which won a five-year licence in 2017, with a two-year option. It deploys two Damen 2810 ASD tugs, SL Leichhardt and SL Herbert.

Cairns and Mourilyan/Lucinda Point contracts are currently held by Svitzer, which provides tractor tugs Tarcoola and Wajarri at the former, while ASD tugs Woona and Gabo cover the latter.

Tenders close 12 July 2024.