Steerprop propulsors chosen for Turkish-built tugs

Finland-based propulsion system manufacturer Steerprop has secured a contract that sees its re-entry into the tug propulsion sector. Uzmar Shipyards in Turkey has chosen Steerprop to deliver six SP 20 WD azimuth propulsion units for a series of three Robert Allan designed RAmparts 2300_UZM tugs being built.

Finland-based propulsion system manufacturer Steerprop has secured a contract that sees its re-entry into the tug propulsion sector. Uzmar Shipyards in Turkey has chosen Steerprop to deliver six SP 20 WD azimuth propulsion units for a series of three Robert Allan designed RAmparts 2300_UZM tugs being built. The contract for the six SP 20 WD azimuth propulsion units, delivering 1,610 kW of power each, was signed in April and will be delivered in Q3 2021.

“The Robert Allan designed RAmparts 2300_UZM tugs with 50+ tonnes of Bollard Pull (BP) are very efficient and agile tugs, providing a lot of performance in a compact package”, said Donato Agostinelli, Sales Manager at Steerprop. “Since the tugs will be operating in challenging conditions and performing very different tasks throughout their life, the propulsion units must be efficient and reliable under all circumstances. For these reasons, the units also come with our Condition Monitoring system as standard”

To increase the achieved BP and to improve the manoeuvrability of the tugboat, the azimuth propulsors have an electrical steering that enables more efficient use of the main engine’s power compared to hydraulic steering. “The agile electrical steering system in our Z-drive azimuth propulsion increases overall performance and reduces the running costs of the vessels”, said Agostinelli. “The electrical system can also be upgraded with a battery pack to enhance performance even further, while at the same time lowering the environmental footprint of the system.”

The propulsors’ robust and accurate electric steering gears also offer a constant steering speed, which is essential when performing sensitive tasks like escorting tankers. “Since the steering uses power only when actively turning, it is very energy-efficient”, Agostinelli said. “In addition, the electrical steering also produces significantly less noise than hydraulic steering systems and requires little service due to its mechanically simple construction.”

The RAmparts tug classification is the most popular and widely used tug type in the world, thanks to its very flexible design that allows to accommodate different configurations and applications. “We identified a clear customer need and saw that we could make the necessary changes to our base design in the short time we had at hand”, Agostinelli said. “We think this is a great reference to make a re-entry in a segment that is not new to us, but in which we have not been present for a while.”

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