Pilbara Marine orders tugs at Damen

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

08 March 2017


Australia's Pilbara Marine, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), has placed an order with Damen Shipyards for six 32 m ART 85-32W class Rotortugs designed by Robert Allan Ltd. These will be deployed at the company’s operations at Port Hedland on Australia’s west coast, the world’s largest bulk export port. From there, Fortescue exports 165-170 million tonnes of iron ore per year. The six tugs are of the ART 85-32W class, designed by Robert Allan Ltd. Their Rotor Tug propulsion system features three azimuth thrusters; two forward and one aft. Together these deliver the full 85 tonnes of bollard pull over both the bow and the stern, and 65% from amidships. The Rotor Tug system delivers additional benefits regarding manoeuvrability, braking, and engine and winch redundancy. The W notation refers to the increased beam of these designs, providing additional stability during escorting operations conducted regularly at Port Hedland. The six Rotor Tugs will be built at Damen’s Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam. The first two are scheduled for delivery ex-yard by the end of October 2018, with the remaining four due in early 2019.