DISCOVER Magazine #7

ASD Tug 2609 ICE Heads for the Russian Far East

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal
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chief executive, Nakhodka Marine Trade Port

Vladimir Grigoriev
chief executive
Nakhodka Marine Trade Port

In February 2019, Nakhodka Marine Trade Port, located in Russia’s far eastern Primorsky Krai (maritime territory), signed a contract with Damen for the delivery of an ASD Tug 2609 ICE this coming summer, the first Damen Tug to join their fleet. The order is a significant one for Nakhodka Port as a recognition of its growing importance to this once remote area of Russia and its bright prospects for the future.

The port has undergone some changes in recent years. Up until two years ago it was part of steelmaking company EVRAZ, but in 2017 it was sold off and is now an independent entity. It has been an important transport junction for many years due to its position on the Trans-Siberian Railway section of the Eurasian Land Bridge. This allows it to act both as a gateway for Russian exports such as coal and timber to the Pacific Rim markets, and as a transhipment point for goods from China, Japan and other nations looking for rapid, overland access to the markets of western Russia and Europe.

Upgrading for the future

Today Nakhodka Marine Trade Port is one of the key stevedoring companies in the Russian Far East, making an important contribution to the development of the region. The port is eastern Russia’s biggest, equipped to handle around 10 million tonnes of cargo per year and unload around 500 rail transports each day. Since it parted company with EVRAZ, the key objectives that the port has set itself over the last two years have been to upgrade its facilities and expand its cargo turnover by at least 30%. It is also undertaking a programme introducing environmentally-responsible cargo transfers and is currently installing systems to supress dust formation and treat sewage.

Looking further ahead, plans include additional purpose-built facilities for unloading bulk cargoes including an advanced rotary car dumper to unload railroad cars much more rapidly whilst preventing dust emission. The goal is for the port to leverage its modernised facilities and expertise in cargo handling so as to broaden its customer base of shipping companies and destinations.

Adding and updating capacity

With an area of 3.5 km2 stretching down both sides of Nakhodka Bay, the port is able to berth up to fifteen cargo vessels at any one time and, with business expanding, traffic has been growing. The port’s own pair of tugboats; the Oslyabya built in the USSR in 1971 with 882 kW of power, and the Yermak, built in South Korea in 1996 with 2,100 kW of power, are working as hard as their ages will allow them, and on occasions a third vessel has to be chartered to assist with the berthing and vessel handling.

“The decision was therefore made to investigate the new build options for adding a third, full-time tug to the fleet and various ship builders were approached for proposals,” says Vladimir Grigoriev, chief executive of Nakhodka Marine Trade Port. “The brief was to put forward for tugs that could safely manage the critical task of positioning and removing dry cargo ships and bulkers with a deadweight of up to 60,000 tonnes and lengths of up to 200 metres.

“We finally opted for Damen because they were the best in terms of technical specifications and price. Additionally, Damen is known for the consistent high quality of their products, and this has been confirmed by positive feedback from other stevedoring companies who are using similar Damen tugs.”

Our new Damen ASD Tug 2609 ICE will make us less reliant on external suppliers and help us to earn a better margin on our services as we berth and undock our ships.

ASD 2609 ICE
Nakhodka Port’s new Damen ASD Tug 2609 ICE has been built at Damen Shipyards Changde, China, and its engines uprated to 3,500 bhp (2,610 kW) of total power to give over 40 tonnes of bollard pull ahead. While at 43 degrees north the Nakhodka Bay is generally ice-free, mid-winter temperatures can fall well below zero, so the hull is rated ICE3 and is in full compliance with ARC4. The delivery from Shanghai to Nakhodka will be used to familiarise the new crew with her handling and systems, and Damen’s team of field service engineers dedicated to supporting clients in the Russian Federation will take care of any services needed during the warranty period and beyond.

“Operational efficiency together with the environmental safety of cargo transfer operations remain the key priorities of Nakhodka Marine Trade Port,” says Vladimir Grigoriev. “We strive to be the leading port in the Russian Far East by the use of the best available technologies and capacities in our terminals. Getting this new tug will help us to enhance the quality of our services and significantly improve technical opportunities for our port.”

Nakhodka Marine Trade Port
Nakhodka Marine Trade Port

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