Launch Of Long-Distance Towing Vessel



The next generation, long-distance towing vessel ALP Striker, hits the Maritime Industry.  Niigata Shipyard has launched it on behalf of ALP Maritime Services.  

The vessel is designed such a way that it can tow ultra-large objects such as FPSOs and FLNGs from their construction yard to their offshore installation site.  This vessel is handy to tow ships as the construction yards are always far, anywhere between Australia/SE Asia to West Africa, Brazil, US Gulf and the North Sea.  

“FPSOs and FLNGs have been and still are increasing in size and weight over the past two decades and the work scope for towage (transport) vessels has changed,” says Gerrit-Jan Fidder, spokesman for the vessel’s owner, ALP Maritime Services B.V. “We established that the existing fleet of straightforward towing vessels was no longer adequate for the task.  They are not versatile enough anymore and become marginal in their fuel capacity, bollard pull and lacking redundancy on the vessel’s main systems”.

Fidder also added that clients were interested in combining the towage with the positioning and hook-up operations and they often have an internal requirement for a DP II vessel to be allowed to participate in that scope of work.  Most towing vessels do not offer that and, as a result, a separate spread of AHTS would be required for the hook-up.  He also stressed on the economic advantage the vessel offered to the clients.    

He further emphasized that the 89m vessel has a bollard pull of 306 tons to accommodate the need to tow larger, heavier units.  These vessels do not necessarily have good seakeeping characteristics when towed.  


“When objects become so large that more than two vessels are required for the tow, preferably we use DP II vessels offering redundancy on the vessel’s main systems.  DP II is not only an important feature for installation but also requires a vessel to have a back-up on all main propulsions systems, which is also enhancing the safety of the towing operation,” he said.

Indeed, he made a point that they have arrived at a point to increase their vessel’s capacity by 50% compared to their competitors.  This enables them to perform any jobs with two tugs while their competitors need three tugs.  

Source: Ship Technology