The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has acquired two brand new modern tugboats to enhance marine operation and service delivery in the Lagos Pilotage District, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY can authoritatively reveal.
Usually reliable sources in the office of NPA’s Managing Director, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the ultra-modern, high-tech boats were acquired at the sum of 9million Euros each (equivalent of N3.1billion), bringing the total amount spent on both to a princely N6.2billion.
The boats, named MT Daura and MT Ubima were delivered to NPA by Depasa this month and moored at Continental Shipyard Limited in Apapa, awaiting commissioning by the Managing Director.
Daura is the home town of President Muhammadu Buhari while Ubama is the home town of Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.
The source said two similar boats – named MT Uromi and MT Majia – had earlier been delivered by Depasa on September 1, 2015 and have been deployed to enhance the provision of marine services to ships coming in and going out of the ports.
“The new tugboats were built in Damen shipyard by Depasa and they have very strong engines built by Rolls Royce. They are the best you can find in any port of the world. They are strong and very efficient,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not officially authorised to speak on the matter, said.
He said the delivery of the boats were in line with an ambitious project by the new management of NPA to retool the ports as the authority seeks to break new frontiers in the maritime trade.
The boats’ specifications sighted by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY revealed that they were from the series of ASD Damen tugboats 2810 with 60tonnes bull and pull power. They are 28metres long and 10metres wide, with a two-thruster propulsion system built by Rolls Royce and driven a state-of-the-art turbo MTU 4000 diesel engines made in Germany. They have a speed of 14 knots, which makes for faster deployment and operation. They also have fire-fighting capabilities.
When contacted, Managing Director of Depasa Nigeria Limited, Mr. Danny Fuchs confirmed that his company had delivered the new tugboats to NPA. While commending the new management of NPA for acquiring the new boats, he said the new assets will assist in faster pull and push of ships visiting the port.
“The ships are becoming bigger so the tugboats must become stronger. The new boats will make for better efficiency because they can handle ships of any size including the Egina FPSO expected in Nigeria soon,” he said.
The new tugboats are expected to be commissioned and deployed to service in November.
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