On August 26th in Hammerfest under perhaps not entirely unusual northern Norwegian late summer weather of 6 degrees Celsius and driving rain, Østensjø Rederi’s three new industry-leading escort towing vessels were officially named.
Sponsors of the trio were Ms. Unni M. S. Fjær, Ms. Inger Vik Framnes, and Ms. Siv Halvorsen officially naming the vessels Dux, Pax, and Audax. In attendance on behalf of designers Robert Allan Ltd. was Mr. Rob Allan, Executive Chairman of the Board, on behalf of Østensjø were Chairman of the Board Johannes Østensjø, Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Walland, and Project manager Carl-Johan Amundsen. On behalf of Builders Astilleros Gondán S.A. were their President Álvaro Platero and Financial Director Luis Cotarelo.
The distinctive 40.20 m RAstar 4000-DF dual-fuel LNG/diesel extreme escort tugs were specifically designed for operations at Statoil’s Melkøya LNG terminal at Hammerfest at the top of Norway.
The vessels are capable of exceptionally high escort steering and braking forces for counteracting a tanker steering or propulsion failure and can achieve very high free running speeds to facilitate connecting to tankers at fast speeds. In addition to severe weather escorting and ship berthing, the vessels are further capable of emergency response duties including long line emergency towing, off-ship fire-fighting (FiFI I), and oil spill containment and recovery (Oil Rec.). Accommodations are generous in size, very well appointed and comfortable for a crew of up to 8 with a large gym, a spacious ship’s office, and exceptionally low noise levels throughout.
Feedback from the crews on board after the first few months of operation has been exceptionally positive, with rave reviews for the vessel performance, seakeeping and overall handling and stability. These powerful vessels undoubtedly have raised the bar for escort tug performance worldwide and represent the culmination of more than two decades of research and development by Robert Allan Ltd into improving escort tug performance and safety, and in particular proving that properly–designed ASD tugs can perform this arduous service at the highest levels of capability.
The trend-setting Dux, Pax, and Audax will play a crucial role ensuring safe and efficient movement of LNG carriers at the Melkoya facility for proud Owners Østensjø Rederi AS. It seems that in the case of these innovative RAstar 4000-DF escort tugs, good things really do come in threes!
Source: Robert Allan