A naming ceremony was held in Ras Al Khaimah Port for a new tug delivered to RAK Ports from the Albwardy Damen shipyard in Sharjah. The tug is a Damen ASD 2913 (29m Long and 13m Beam) with 80tons of bollard pull. The new vessel was named Osprey, with the baptism being performed by Mrs. Barbara Brand, wife of the CEO Capt Cliff Brand.
The naming ceremony completes the process that started in the autumn of 2016 when RAK Ports circulated an RFQ to builders worldwide. Damen secured the contract by agreeing to build the tug in their yard in Sharjah. The Damen ASD 2913 had not previously been built in the UAE and this represented a high degree of flexibility by the builder. Contracts were signed in March 2017 and steel cut in June 2017.
The 80t bollard pull tug was commissioned to coincide with the construction of a new deep-water terminal, which is close to completion at Saqr Port. The new facility will be capable of handling two Capesize 180 class bulk vessels simultaneously. The Osprey will join a fleet of six existing tugs: four conventional Damen Stan Tugs with bollard pull of 50t, 36t, and two x 18t, along with two Damen ASD tugs of 70t and 60t bollard pull.
At the naming ceremony, Captain Cliff Brand CEO of RAK Ports thanked Damen for their flexibility to construct in the UAE and delivering on time.
Captain Michael Magee Group Harbour Master of RAK Ports commented, “The tug was bought for its power and ability to tow in open water. The new terminal will see RAK Ports handling the biggest bulk ships in the world. Saqr Port is very busy and we require reliable tugs. The team at Damen have at all times been professional and approachable, and the end result is an impressive construction we are proud to have join our fleet.”
Pascal Slingerland, Damen Regional Director Middle East, commented that he was delighted to secure this construction, and he was especially pleased to be building in the UAE for the UAE.