Damen Shipyards said it has won an open tender for the
supply of a tug to Port Autonome de Papeete on the Pacific island
of Tahiti. Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, an overseas
territory of the French Republic. The tug will be Damen's popular
ASD 2810 model, a rugged, versatile vessel capable of delivering
60 tonnes of bollard pull. Pape'ete is the capital of French
Polynesia and the economic hub of the archipelago.
Port Autonome de Papeete serves a wide range of vessels including
local ferries, cargo ships, naval vessels, cruise ships and oil
tankers and having a modern towage capability is vital for both
the port and Tahiti given its remoteness and reliance on trade.
With the current primary tug becoming increasingly outdated the
decision was taken to acquire a new, more powerful vessel capable
of handling the larger cargo, oil tankers and cruise ships
expected in the coming years.
Following the award of the tender, Damen received 'L'ordre de
Service' in early May. With an ASD 2810 in stock at Damen Song
Cam Shipyard in Vietnam the process began immediately of
finishing and commissioning her in accordance with French
regulations, in time for delivery in early October this year.
Additional equipment being fitted includes an extra aft winch and
a Fi-Fi installation.
With French Polynesia being one of the remotest inhabited areas
on Earth, an important part of the contract is ensuring that the
tug will be properly supported and maintained. To meet this
requirement, Damen has established a partnership with a local
marine engineering company in Papeete that will operate in
cooperation with the Damen Service Hub in Brisbane, Australia,
3220 nautical miles to the west. As well as keeping the ASD 2810
in good working order, this arrangement will result in a welcome
transfer of skills and technology to the Tahitian maritime
With regard to other French projects, Damen Shipyards Antalya is
currently building two 55-metre Fast RoPax 5510 ferries for the
Collectivité de Saint Pierre et Miquelon, another French overseas
territory, situated in the north western Atlantic Ocean near the
Newfoundland and Labrador province of Canada. Delivery is
scheduled for the end of this year.