The Port of Takoradi has taken delivery of an 80-ton bollard pull Azimuth Stern Drive ASD tug boat to help improve the handling of bigger and heavily loaded ships.
The arrival of the tug boat is in tandem with the Port of Takoradi’s strategic vision to become a dominant oil and gas hub in West Africa and ultimately a world class port.
The 80-ton bollard pull ASD tug boat was built in 2019 at the TORGEM shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey.
In keeping with tradition of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the tug boat is christened Commander K.T Dovlo, who is a former Director General of GPHA.
‘Commander K.T Dovlo’ measures 32 meters in length, with a breadth of 12 meters, draught of 5.5 meters and a speed of 14.5 knots.
It can turn 360 degrees within the same pull or push with the same speed, an advantage the other conventional tug boats do not have.
The new tug boat is also for firefighting and falls within the highest of the classes and can produce about 26,000 metric tons of sea water to fight fire.
It also has a boom and dispersant sprayer which can be used to effectively manage an oil spill.
Harbour Master of the Port of Takoradi Captain James Richmond Quayson explained the significance of the new tug boat is immeasurable since it has come at the time when the port is undergoing expansion.
“With the new shipping economics, shipping lines want to take all their cargo at once and so they are making bigger and heavier vessels. For example, now the ships that come to take manganese are very big, some with 170, 000 ton capacity. This new tug boat has the ability to take on such vessels.
Director of Takoradi Port Captain Ebenezer Afedzie, on his part, said the presence of the 80 ton ASD tug boat will assure shipping lines that when they take their bigger and heavier vessels to Takoradi they can easily be handled.
“All what the tug boat does is to either pull or push a vessel into position. So, if hitherto we were using 20 or 30 minutes to push or pull a vessel into position, this new tug boat will reduce it to 10 or 15 minutes.
He added that the Port of Takoradi now has a -16 meter depth terminal and is currently working on another -16 meter depth multi-purpose container terminal.
“Previously vessels that called loaded about 40, 000 to 45, 000 tons and left. Now, we have vessels loading up to about 120, 000 tons. The old 60 ton tug boats find it difficult handling these new bigger and heavier vessels. This new powerful tug boat will handle such vessels very easily.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana