SAAM S.A., a marine towing company with operations across South, Central and North America, has taken delivery of two 80.26'x37.16' ASD Tugs 2411 from the Damen Shipyards Group. The compact tugs deliver over 70 tonnes of bollard pull and are designed to be exceptionally maneuverable and reliable.

The order was placed three months ago, following a visit by SAAM representatives to Damen Song Thu Shipyard in Vietnam where the vessels were already being built as stock tugs.

The two new tugs, Tordo and Mirlo after Chilean birds, are now on their way to Valparaiso, Chile. Once they are fully commissioned, they will begin harbor operations in the port of San Antonio. Damen will also be providing crew training and a range of other support services in Chile.

Damen announced that it is building two identical 206.64' crane barge 6324 vessels. Designed as a cost effective transshipment platform, the barges will be able to handle ship-to-ship, ship-to-barge or ship-to-quay operations. The design is also suitable for flexible harbour services being able to tranship dry bulk, containers and breakbulk. The barges will have 8,100 sq.ft. of deck space, with additional below-deck lashing stores.

The jib rest has been optimised to provide greater safety during transshipment and, alternatively, for servicing sheaves of the crane. Both crane barges will be installed with a Liebherr CBG 350 crane — providing loading capabilities with grab operations of 35 tonnes at 118.08' and hook operations at 45 tonnes at 118.08'. The double drum mooring winches will be positioned in such a way as to enhance safety during mooring operations to minimise the potential for hazards.

Another project for Damen is the introduction of a new range of Multi-Role Auxiliary Vessels (MRAV). The new range of military boats consists of three different designs: the 141.04' MRAV 660, 203.36' MRAV 1600 and 278.8' MRAV 3600. The common theme running through the series is the provision of a basic platform offering reliable and cost-effective, multi-role potential and hydrographic survey capabilities to naval clients.

With the addition of supplementary modular mission equipment, the new vessels can be mobilized in numerous, mainly littoral, naval tasks such as the following: explosive ordnance clearance and disposal, diving operations, torpedo recovery and overhaul, ROV and UAV deployment, SAR, coastal infantry and submarine support. The largest version of the range will be able to operate worldwide, on the ocean as well as in littoral waters. This boat has additional capabilities such as disaster and humanitarian relief, oceanography and naval training support.

The introduction of flexible concepts allows as many functions as possible to be included into a range of smaller vessels without reducing the effectiveness and capacity of the fleet while maintaining the benefits of modularity, Damen officials said.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.