The Port of Sohar has taken delivery of a third new tug out of a five-vessel order placed through Svitzer with the Turkish Sanmar Shipyard. Two further powerful 80 tonnes bollard pull sister tugs are due for delivery by the end of June to conclude the contract.
The new arrival, Svitzer Sohar, will deliver a higher level of tug power and performance to the port. The RAstar 2900SX design has a sponsoned hull form which is proven to provide significantly enhanced escort towing and seakeeping performance. “The size and power of the new tug matches nicely with the Valemax vessels regularly calling at Sohar, allowing for a higher margin of safety. It is also fitted with FiFi class 1 and provides Sohar port with the 24 hour seaborne and quayside firefighting capability needed for the multitude of cargos being transported through the port,” says Peter Rosewall, Svitzer Port Manager Sohar.
The delivery comes shortly after Sohar announced impressive figures for the first quarter of 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Breakbulk cargo volumes jumped 18% compared to the first quarter of 2019, liquid bulk traffic was up by 2% and the number of vessel calls rose by 4%.
As well as the port, Sohar Freezone also achieved a positive performance in the first quarter of this year. Construction started on eight new projects in this period and many of these should be operational by the end of 2020. The Freezone’s warehouse occupancy rate stood at 71% as of the end of March, reflecting positive growth trends.