Italian boatbuilder Vittoria Shipyard has launched a new tug for the Skikda Harbour Authority in Algeria, intended to primarily undertake third-party towing and escort duties in Algeria’s north-west, near the border with Tunisia. Constructed at Vittoria’s yard in Adria, in north-eastern Italy, the tug, which bears the pre-delivery yard number C869 (pictured, right) was ordered by the authority in December 2016 to the tune of approximately €7 million (US$8.3 million). At time of writing (late December), the vessel was undergoing trials on the 78km Canal Bianco, with handover expected in spring 2018.
C869 features a length of 26m overall (or 25.75m between perpendiculars), a moulded beam of 10m, a moulded depth of 5.35m and a draught of 3.8m for 500tonnes of full load displacement. Classed by Bureau Veritas, the vessel is able to accommodate up to seven crew members.
A configuration of two medium-speed diesel engines, supplied by Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) and rated more than 2,460kW in total, grant the vessel a service speed in the realm of 12knots and a bollard pull ranking in excess of 30tonnes. C869 has also been fitted with two azimuth ASD thrusters for enhanced manouevrability, and has been designed to offer her crew a range of 12 days between required port calls.
Despite having traditionally specialised in the production of patrol and rescue boats, fishing craft, passenger vessels, dive support vessels and small tankers, Vittoria Shipyard has spent the past couple of years attempting to diversify into the tug market, and to attract a greater share of customers outside Italy – on what president Luigi Duò has previously termed a “new path of internationalisation". The yard is also working on a 32m x 10m x 6m, ice-breaking tug, ordered to assist in scrapping nuclear submarines that have been decommissioned by the Russian Navy, which too will be delivered this year.
Commenting on the Algerian deal, Duò said: “[Vittoria] won the order by beating a very tough international competition, made of nine other yards from the international market, including the best-known producers of tugs. That makes us especially proud and confident that other sector operators – especially the Italian [operators] who often go to foreign firms – will feel they can look at Vittoria as a favourable potential option.”