The Value News

Maritime: Why NPA Acquired Damen 2810 Model Tug Boats , Prepares For Post- COVID 19 Era

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

In spite of the low volume of cargoes traffic  at the nation’s seaports  as a result of the Wuhan Town in Hebe i Province of the Asian country  of China  emerged  coronavirus, popular, COVID 19,Hajia Bala Usman, the  Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA,  appears  set  for the post COVID 19 era.

Hajia  Usman, who is optimistic that  there will  be large  Containerised  vessels  from the Asian country of China and other parts of the world calling at the Lagos   the  ports of Apapa and the Tincan,  through the Lagos pilotage district  during the COVID 19 era, may have informed  why the Authority under her close watch has  resorted  to the  acquisition  of  new  tug boats  to meet the demand of big ocean going  vessel owners.

Given an insider information about the newly acquired Damen 2810 model  tug boats, MT. Musawa and MT.Ikoro  Ekiti,  the NPA, Managing Director , disclosed that the Tug boats, will ‘’enhance the reliability and  maneuvering of  large capacity vessels calling at the nation’s ports  to berth and un-berth. She noted that the Tug boats   were built  with a Length  Over All, LOA,28.77m, Breath Over All, BOA, 10 4m  and 4.9 m draft.

Newly Acquied Tugboat By NPA: MT.Musawa:

The tug boats which were  built by the  Damen Shipyard, according to her  were  built  under Lioyds Classification Society Standards and powered by the  twin MTU engines to attain  a speed of 13 knots. She disclosed  that  the power produced  by the  twin engine will  enable the tugboats  to produce 60 ton stern drive  pull maximum  bollard and 58.7  ton, for towing operations.

The Authority may have gone  for the expensive Damen tug boats which are used in towing Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, vessels, because   she has the latest hull and skeg designs. This is in addition to having rigid foundations, extra plate thickness, extra  brackes and extra fendering.

This should gladden the heart of vessel  owners and other  stakeholders in the nation’s maritime sector  that the tug boats which  are equipped with fire fighting machines will serve  their need. The acquisition  the two new tug  boats,  She had  said  has boasted  the agency fleet to six, which   will  ultimately  affect the turn- around  of vessels at the ports positively .

 It could not be ascertained the cost of acquiring the Damen 2810 tug boats but an insider told The Value News  that the cost of the  two Damen tug boats are,  within  the range of the four  tugboats acquired by the agency in 2017 because of the Capacity to  tow large vessels. The  four tug boats   ,MT. Daura, MT.Ubim, MT.Uromi and MT.Majiya,, that were purchased   at the cost of  about $30 million or N6 billion in 2017.

An elated Hajia Usman,  had said   that the Authority resolve  to invest on new  equipment was basically ‘’to prepare the  agency for the exigencies of the increasingly Competitive  global maritime space’’.

A Newly Commissioned NPA Tugboat

The NPA Managing Director   who could not hide her feelings stressed that despite the fact that the country has adopted the landlord  model of port ownership as part of the 2006 port reforms initiated by former  President Olusegun Obasanjo,  the agency  has not neglected its statutory functions as it is still committed’’ to deliver with efficiency at all times’’.

The agency  functions which include the administration of land and water within the port limits, planning and development of operational infrastructure, easing and  concession of port infrastructure, according to her  has set ’’ the benchmark for tariff structure and maintaining nautical/harbor operations and hydrographic  amongst  others’’.

  Akin Rickets, Chairman, NPA Board, described  the two  new tugboats  acquired by the Authority, ‘’as another  landmark in its  quest to provide world Class services and compete with  every other port  in other parts of the word in terms  of efficiency, competitive cost,  safety and security’’.

According to him,’’ Towage services had   been an integral part  and  determinants of the efficiency of any port operation in channels and safety in berthing them  as it ensure easy  passage of vessels’’. He asserted that’’ tugboats are essential for the  seamless berthing of vessels as well as well as  maintaining any outbreak of fire in or during operations’’.

The NPA chairman opined that’’ the  purchase  and the Commissioning of the  two Damen’s  2810  model tug boats, MT.Musawa and MT. Ikoro Ekiti are giant strides in buoying the capacity of the Authority for more effectiveness’’ and Congratulated Hajia Usman and his  Management Team  for  effort.

Amechi, the minister of Transportation, who Commissioned the two tug boats  said ‘’ the purchase,  underscores President Muhamadu Buhari ‘’ seriousness in repositioning  the nation’s maritime sector  in  order to add more value to the economy’’. The minister   who gave reasons why Buhari  has thrown his weight  on the sector  disclosed that’’ it is because it occupies a  pivotal role in the nation’s economy  for the actualization of the Fundamental Objectives of the Economic Recovery and  Growth Pan, ERGP, of the Administration.

Stephen Ubanna

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