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Tuesday, December 7, 2021 

Towage operator Svitzer has finalised an agreement with naval architect Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) and Sanmar Shipyards to build its next generation multipurpose tug, to be known as the TRAnsverse Tug, which will be the ground design for the recently announced carbon neutral methanol fuel cell tug that Svitzer and Maersk are developing together with RAL.

The TRAnsverse Tug is able to generate higher steering forces than most designs of similar dimensions and comes with an ability to push, pull and manoeuvre in all directions, within a smaller and nimbler package. With omni direction hull form and propulsion, steering forces over the full range of speeds and manoeuvres, and a novel towing arrangement, the compact and fuel-efficient TRAnsverse Tug is scalable and suitable for all types of harbour and terminal towage operations. The TRAnsverse Tug will be fitted with equipment to automate operational elements.

Svitzer COO Ingrid Uppelschoten Snelderwaard said: “This tug is a game changer. Our customers expect us to deliver flexible and environmentally friendly towage services at a competitive price and it is our passion to think out of the box and deliver innovative solutions to meet these expectations. I am proud that we are able to pave the way for future tug designs and at the same time ease the transition from the marine fuel we use today to the future carbon neutral fuels that we are transitioning to over the coming years.”

After a series of successful tank tests and simulations the first vessel is now ready to be built by Sanmar with RAL as the designer, for use in harbour towage by Svitzer Europe, with expected delivery in 2023.

Svitzer’s Head of Technical Innovation Thomas Bangslund said: “It is highly rewarding to see this multipurpose and very versatile tug become a reality. It started as a wish to improve efficiency in our operations and is now materialising as a powerful and cost-efficient tug with the potential to reduce both operational cost and CO2 emissions, while improving the safety margins in operations. The design combines the best of our innovative powers and I truly believe that this kind of customer focused innovation is what the towage industry needs to stay relevant.”

James R Hyslop, Manager, Project Development, RAL, said: “Robert Allan Ltd is very excited to be part of the team that will bring this new and innovative tug design to the towage market. Integrating all these technologies into one vessel has never been done before and it was a real challenge to do it in a way that is safe, functional, and economic. It was only after an exhaustive tank testing programme at HSVA Hamburg, with valuable input from Svitzer’s Masters, that the final layout was determined. Our design team is looking forward to the opportunities that will come with the construction and testing of this tug, as it paves the way for future newbuilds in the Svitzer fleet.”

Ali Gurun, VP Sanmar Shipyards, said: "We are proud to be a part of this very specialised project in which we will be happy to incorporate our experience and know how."

The first TRAnsverse Tug will be a 25.8m 60t Bollard Pull tug built to comply with the Tier III emissions regulations. It is designed with thrusters in line and an omni directional hull form. To make full use of its capabilities the tug is equipped with a render recovery double drum escort winch and a set of 100 T SWL tow pins. Emphasis has been put on ease of operation for the onboard crew implementing technologies such as the Svitzer Catcher to allow for line handling from the bridge.

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