Old tugs sold as authority steps up port efficiency


The tugs Goelette and Colibri will leave Victoria as soon as logistical arrangements by the new owner are completed

Goelette and Colibri, both 29 years old, have been sold to a private company in Western Africa for a total of R5m.

Twenty-five years back, the tugs cost around R14m and their economic lives were between 10 to 12 years.
In a press release, the SPA said the decision to sell the tugs encapsulates the authority’s strategy to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its tug services in Port Victoria.

This is in direct response to new trends in regional and international maritime and port industry whereby bigger vessels are opting for faster turnaround periods in ports, smoothness in tug operations, and more powerful tug boats for better maneuverability during berthing and unberthing. 

The SPA’s marine mechanical team has ensured that the tugs have been very well maintained over the past years and are still in reasonably good working condition to perform less powerful tasks.

“With an average of 13 ton bollard pull capacity, combined with their age, it was felt that they were no longer meeting the pulling and pushing requirements of bigger vessels calling at Port Victoria,” says the press release.

The two vessels are expected to leave Port Victoria soon after logistical arrangements by the new owner are completed.

Aimed at taking tug operations in Port Victoria to a new level, the SPA invested in two more powerful 30 ton bollard pull capacity and state-of-the-art tugs in 2011.

The new tugs - Ascension and Rosemary - are performing to expectations. They are equipped with high tech equipment and this has enabled SPA’s tug operators to gain new skills.

As for the fifth tug Alouette, the SPA is finalising its logistical preparations for a major overhaul and refitting in order to extend its useful life for at least 10 more years.

As part of the government’s strategy to make Port Victoria a port of refuge, SPA is looking towards increasing its capacity in order to bring its tug services beyond the Seychelles waters such as long range towage and salvage operations.

From a commercial and economic standpoint, this means capturing an existing niche market, thus bringing more revenue to SPA and the government.

It is expected that the full functionality of the Eve Island passenger, cargo and maritime related business facilities on Praslin, the proposed expansion of the La Digue basin, and the extension of the Mahé quay will bring more economic activities in our maritime and port industry.

This will help to create more wealth for local businesses in this sector, hence more economic benefits to Seychelles.

With an all Seychellois team, the SPA, under the strong leadership of the Ministry for Home Affairs and Transport, has been able to achieve most of its short- to medium-term targets, notes the press release.

The authority is now propelling forward towards the achievement of its long-term goals, in line with the 2020 national development targets for the maritime sector.

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