The first of the Orkney Islands Council two new tugs – Odin of Scapa – was launched at the end of February at the Sanmar Shipyard at Altinova in Turkey.
The launch was on schedule and the programme is currently within budget.
Following a period of final fitting out, equipment commissioning and then sea trials the purpose-built tug will commence a three-week passage from Turkey and is due to arrive at its new home in Scapa Flow in Orkney at the end of the second week in May.
The second tug – Thor of Scapa – is ahead of schedule and is due to arrive in Orkney some two months after its sister ship.
OIC’s Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transportation, Brian Archibald, is delighted with the progress being made at the Sanmar Shipyards.
He said: “The programme has gone exceptionally well thus far and we are delighted with the build quality and progress with both tugs. The shipyard, which is modern and purpose built for tug construction, is currently turning out about 35 tugs per year.
“When I and the specialist team from Orkney inspected the vessel prior to launch, it was clear that the expertise, skill and attention to detail in tug work has been applied in full to our new tugs which are, at present, the largest and most capable which they have under construction.
“The working relationship with the yard has been first class and, despite the distance between Orkney and Turkey, the project is a fine example of what can be achieved if the initial contract is a good one, if the skilled and knowledgeable people are involved on both sides and if the yard is expert in its field.”
The 32-metre vessels, which were named following a public vote, will replace two of the three tugs currently operated by Orkney Islands Council Marine Services. The name Vale of Scapa will be held in reserve and used if the council decides in future to replace the third tug as well.
The tug boat design and build contract was secured by Sanmar Shipyards after a competitive tendering exercise.
Construction has been taking place at Sanmar’s new specialist tug building facility at Altinova, about an hour south of Istanbul.
The two 70-80 tonne bollard pull tugs are being built to full tanker escort capability and to a well proven design for the SX3200 azimuth stern tug, based on a standard Raster 3200 tug but with some specific changes to match the Scapa Flow and Scapa Pier operation.
Sanmar has a proven track record for quality builds for the past four decades – with more 200 tugboats presently in operation on international seas.