Ship Owners’ Green Fleet Investments for a Sustainable Future

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In an effort to cut emissions in northern Europe, Multraship, Alfons Hkans, Seacontractors, and Fairplay Towage have increased their fleet sizes, as reported by Riviera.

Emergency rescue & towing 

Dutch towage and salvage company, Multraship, added two emergency rescue and towing vessels (ERTVs), two harbour tugs, and a salvage support vessel to its fleet in 2022 to meet the rising demand for its services and to ensure its fleet is fit for future demands. The company won emergency response contracts and aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations while retaining well-trained crews. Multraship’s core activities include harbour and terminal towage, salvage, ocean towage, and services to the offshore energy and dredging industries. It currently operates 67 vessels, including multipurpose tugs, specialised salvage craft, floating sheerlegs, ERTVs, workboats, and line-handling vessels.

Multraship provides crucial emergency response capability with its three ERTVs strategically positioned to provide assistance to drifting vessels and those in distress 24/7. In addition to its ERTVs, Multraship has added new vessels to its fleet, including the ASD tugs Multratug 6 and Multratug 9, and the Multrasalvor 6, which was purchased from Damen. The company can quickly adapt to its customer’s requirements and respond rapidly to emergencies off the Dutch coast or in the River Scheldt, a major shipping route to the busy port of Antwerp, Belgium.

Growth and challenges

Multraship prides itself on being always ready to respond to emergencies and has established strong relationships with regional and maritime authorities. The company has expanded its fleet and trained 75 new recruits due to increased business in harbour towage, offshore operations, and windfarm development. However, it faces challenges in reducing emissions and adapting to the energy transition. Multraship is exploring the use of less carbon-intensive fuels and electric propulsion for its fleet, but availability and alternative fuel capabilities in smaller regional ports are a limitation. The company is also investing significantly in its training facilities and capabilities to attract the best talent and keep its crews up to date with the latest technology and equipment.

Baltic towage

Finnish tug owner Alfons Håkans is expanding its fleet by acquiring secondhand tugboats from other owners and upgrading their onboard systems. The company’s main operations include harbour towage and ice management in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia, with a fleet of 23 ASD tugs, 14 conventional tugs, two combi tugs, and one tractor tug. They have also acquired two tugs from Svitzer to add to their fleet. While the war in Ukraine and international sanctions have impacted their business, Alfons Håkans sees opportunities for supporting LNG imports and offshore renewables in the Baltic. Most of their tugboat fleet has ice class to 1A, with some having 1A Super ice class.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a decrease in cargo shipments from the Baltic to Russia, affecting tugboat operations in the area. However, the Finnish owner is now exploring opportunities in new markets, such as supporting LNG imports through a new floating storage and regasification unit. They are also looking into opportunities in the offshore renewable energy sector and improving the energy efficiency of their harbour tugs by using shore power and considering tug retrofits.

UK expansion

Seacontractors has modernised its fleet and opened a new office in the UK, adding six vessels to its fleet and selling older vessels to maintain a competitive edge. The company plans to invest in a new EuroCarrier vessel and equipment to improve safety, and security, and reduce its environmental footprint. It is currently supporting major construction projects in northern Europe and the Middle East, including the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, UK. The company aims to stay agile, innovative, and adaptable to maintain its position as a leading global maritime service provider amid market volatility, environmental regulations, and geopolitical events.

Seacontractors assisted in the transportation and offloading of a 13-meter nuclear reactor pressure vessel for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK using its vessels Sea Bronco and MTS Valour. The company also works on the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel project, where its Shoalbusters MTS Valiant, Sea Echo, and MTS Vanquish have provided towing, pushing, and other marine support services. Seacontractors aims to continue its involvement in these projects with its modern fleet, which includes the 65-tonne bollard pull MTS Vanquish.

Newbuild additions

Fairplay Towage has added two reverse stern drive (RSD) tugs, Fairplay 90 and Fairplay 91, to its fleet. Both tugs were built by Damen Shipyards and have an overall length of 25 m, a beam of 13 m, and a depth of 5 m. They are equipped with two Caterpillar 3516C TA HD/D main engines, generating a total power of 5,050 kW at 1,800 rpm. Fairplay Towage has also taken delivery of Fairplay 37, a 27-m tug built to Damen’s Shoalbuster 2711 ICE design, and renamed Bugsier tug Wolf to Fairplay-64. In addition, Svitzer Europe has received an ASD tug newbuild also from Damen, named Svitzer Jubilee, which will begin operations in northeast England in Q2 2023.


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Source: Riviera