Svitzer wins two contracts to bolster African towage business

Maersk group subsidiary Svitzer has clinched two contracts to provide tug operations in African nations

It has secured a new five-year contract to provide harbour towage and pilot transfer services for Nacala Logistics in Mozambique.

At the same time, Svitzer secured a five-year extension of its current contract with Egyptian LNG assisting the onshore Idku LNG plant. Here Svitzer operates four tugs, two mooring boats and one pilot vessel.

These contracts strengthen Svitzer’s position in towage markets on the African continent.

“We see great potential and opportunities on the African continent and I am therefore very pleased we succeeded in securing the contracts with Nacala Logistics and Egyptian LNG,” said Svitzer managing director of the AMEA region Nicolai Vinther Friis. “These contracts are of great strategic importance to us and will support our efforts and ambitions to further strengthen our presence and operations on the continent.”

These contract wins are expected to lead to further investment in Svitzer’s fleet and services in Africa as it needs to mobilise tugs to Mozambique and bolster the local economy. Svitzer intends to invest in local communities by providing training and professional development for members of the local workforce.

“We understand that with size and scale comes responsibility to those we engage with, especially our employees and customers,” said Mr Friis. “We therefore go to great lengths to ensure our operations bring jobs and long-term prosperity to the communities in which we operate.”

Svitzer’s harbour tugs in the port of Nacala will manoeuvre ships, assist in their berthing and undocking, transfer pilots and be prepared to assist in port and shipping emergencies, such as local salvage work.

The contract wins come a year after Svitzer secured a 10-year contract to provide tug services for major shipping route infrastructure in Egypt. Svitzer will provide towage services for the Suez Canal Authority with new tugs based in Port Said. This was a quick turnaround with start-up within nine months of contract signing.

In Africa, Svitzer is now operating in Egypt, Angola, Morocco, Liberia and Mozambique.

Its Mozambique contract award highlights the investment heading into east Africa for harbour towage and salvage services.

At the end of May, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) contracted Turkish shipbuilder Med Marine to construct a 42-m long tug to provide coastal towage, salvage services and harbour support. This azimuth stern drive tug will be the most powerful in the region with bollard pull of around 120 tonnes. Med Marine will build this tug to a Robert Allan RAstar 4200 design for delivery in Q4 2021.

In addition, Tanzania Port Authority has a ordered a fleet of five harbour tugs from Cheoy Lee Shipyards for delivery in 2021. These 32-m tugs will be built to a Robert Allan RAmparts 3200-CL design. Three will have bollard pull of around 70 tonnes and two of 55 tonnes.

Demonstrating fire-fighting capabilities of new tugs built by Cheoy Lee Shipyards for Svitzer’s Port Said operations in Egypt