In July 2009, Tug Malta Ltd presented the new 80 tonnes Bollard Pull harbour and escort/terminal tug. The tug was christened ‘Spinola’ by Mrs Catherine Gonzi at the Valletta Waterfront, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Malta Dr Lawrence Gonzi, the President of Rimorchiatori Group, Dott. Giovanni delle Piane and Tug Malta Ltd Chairman, John Sullivan.
In his welcome address Mr Sullivan referred to the history of Tug Malta and the changes that have occurred in this industry in Malta. He also said that since Rimorchiatori Riuniti Group acquired the majority shareholding in Tug Malta, they have invested over €100 million to acquire all the shares in Tug Malta and in placing orders for this tug and two Anchor Handling Supply vessels which are currently under construction in Spain and are expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2010.
Mr Sullivan added that “Malta’s towage rates remain most competitive when compared to other competing ports in the Mediterranean and even beyond. We shall continue to develop our fleet in line with our customer requirements as long as we are permitted to give a cost effective service for the Group to earn a reasonable return on its capital employed as well as on its future investments.”
The christening ceremony was also addressed by the managing director of the Rimorchiatori Group Mr Gregorio Gavarone who spoke about the company’s commitment to offer an excellent service to its clients as well as the challenges of the Group to recruit local qualified seafarers to work on the Group’s vessels.
The €10.7 million tug was ordered from the Spanish Shipyard Armon S.A. and was primarily designed to operate in the Maltese harbours and their approaches. The tug is fully equipped with Fire-Fighting Class 1, oil recovery and salvage equipment, in order to be prepared for any emergency that may occur in Maltese waters, or off port in the Mediterranean. The vessel is equipped with Voith Schneider propulsion and twin MAK main engines able to give a total power of 7180 BHP, resulting in the powerful bollard pull of 80 tonnes.%u2028The winch installed on board the tug is a double drum in waterfall arrangement, having the upper drum for long distance purposes with a drum capacity of 1000 m steel wire rope. The tug also has a lower drum divided into two sections, one for escorting purposes (capacity 250 metres of synthetic rope) and one for harbour towing (capacity 150 metres of synthetic rope).
The vessel was delivered to Malta from Spain under the command of Capt. Herman Thornton, Tug Malta’s Operations Manager and manned by a Maltese crew. She will be based in Malta and will carry out both harbour towage services and salvage/off port towage services.
The Spinola is the latest addition to Tug Malta’s present fleet of six modern tugs.