Salvage and Towage specialist Svitzer is all set to take delivery of two new Damen ASD tugs. Svitzer will operate the tugs, an ASD 2310 named Svitzer Yuma and an ASD 2411 named SvitzerFreeport in and around the port area of Freeport on the Bahamian island of Grand Bahama. Though Svitzer has ordered vessels from Damen previously, these are the first orders from Svitzer USA in Miami. Damen Manager North America Jan van Hogerwou said he is excited by the development.
Damen Global Account Manager for Svitzer Martijn Smit explained that Svitzer required a fast turnaround on their order, which made Damen’s off-the-shelf approach a natural selection. “Svitzer Yuma was ordered towards the end of last year and Svitzer Freeport in February this year. Both vessels will be delivered simultaneously to the client at the beginning of June.”
The tugs are being built at Damen Shipyards Changde. The Chinese yard, specialising in the delivery of tugs and workboats, features a production hall for vessels up to 26m, making it the ideal location for the construction of both vessels.
Both Svitzer Yuma and Svitzer Freeport have already been launched and are currently undergoing final outfitting. They will undergo trials in May, after which they will be delivered to the client in Shanghai. From Shanghai the vessels will be transported as heavy-lift cargo to Freeport.
Freeport is the industrial centre of the Bahamas. The port area, which is managed by the Grand Bahama Port Authority, sees a lot of maritime activity from both tourist and industrial sectors. Svitzer plays an important role in the local maritime economy, currently operating four vessels in Grand Bahama.
Upon arrival at their destination, Svitzer will hold a naming ceremony for the vessels. “We want to celebrate the arrival of the vessels with the community of Grand Bahama,” explained Marinus Lorwa, Chief Operating Officer of Svitzer Caribbean. “The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the Bahamian Government and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, as well as personnel from Damen and our own crew and their families.”
The two-vessel order comes following Damen’s recent delivery of three ATD 2412 tugs and an ASD 3212 to Svitzer. Mr Lorwa explained his reasons for selecting Damen: “We chose Damen because of their excellent reputation and for the outstanding products they deliver. I’ve worked with Damen previously and I’m very pleased with the concept, with the vessels and also with the after-sales care. That, for me, is what pushed the button.”
Photo: (left to right) Martin Helweg (CEO Svitzer Americas LTD - Miami), Marinus Lorwa (COO Svitzer Americas LTD - Miami), Jan van Hogerwou (Manager North America, Damen Shipyards Gorinchem)