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Monday, April 26, 2021 

A pair of Robert Allan Ltd (RAL)-designed RAstar 3200-W tugs built by Turkey’s Uzmar shipyard for SAAM Towage have arrived in El Salvador, marking the successful completion of a 39-day delivery voyage via the Atlantic Ocean and Panama Canal.

SAAM Acaxual shares the Nahuatl name for Acajutla, which will be its home port as well as that of its sister SAAM Centzunat, itself taking a Nahuatl name for Sonsonate, a region in El Salvador that includes the city of Acajutla.

These RAstar 3200-W tugs are the latest in a series that has proven to be a major commercial success for Uzmar following the lead vessel and RINA Significant Small Ship of the Year SST Tsimshian Warrior, also for SAAM (Canada). This latest delivery to SAAM is illustrative of the positive experience with the lead vessel for Canada, which serves at the Ridley Island Propane Export (LPG) Terminal near Prince Rupert, BC.

Built to serve at the Energia del Pacifico LPG terminal in El Salvador, SAAM Acaxual and SAAM Centzunat will perform similar roles assisting and escorting LPG carriers, while also providing support to the terminal itself. With this service in mind, both tugs have been outfitted with service-specific safety features including a gas detection system, remotely controlled dampers, and explosion-proof deck machinery. They are also equipped for standby roles, most notably with a Fi-Fi 1 external fire-fighting system with waterspray, supplied by Marsis.

Suited for service at LPG and LNG terminals worldwide, these powerful workhorses deliver maximum capability in a sub-500gt tug. At 32m length, the 13.2m beam on these RAstar sponsoned hull forms provides a stable platform for generating high forces in the indirect escort mode, complementing bollard pulls in excess of 80t. With a flexible range of propulsion, emissions, deck machinery, accommodation, and outfitting options, Uzmar has nearly completed 11 tugs in the series in just over a two-year span. The series includes another four tugs for Pakistan’s Karachi Port Trust, a further two for the Turkish Directorate General of Coastal Safety, and further exemplifying Uzmar’s confidence in the design, another two for their own fleet.

These latest additions to SAAM’s fleet are powered by CAT 3516C engines each producing 2,350kW of power at 1,800 rpm, combined with 2.8m diameter Kongsberg fixed pitch azimuthing stern drive (ASD) propellers. The deck machinery package is anchored by a DMT escort winch, and a pair of low-profile vertical windlasses also by DMT. A disc type tow hook with quick release is provided aft, supplied by Data Hidrolik. Operational flexibility and capabilities are also amplified by a Palfinger PK23500 deck crane on each tug, located clear of the working decks on the deckhouse top.

The tugs are outfitted for a crew complement of up to seven, accommodation being compliant with MLC 2006 standards. Classification is with Bureau Veritas with the notation: BV 1 ✠ Hull, ●Mach, Escort Tug, Fire-Fighting 1 Waterspraying, ●AUT-UMS, In Water Survey

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