Strategic Marine Breaks New Ground With New Contract

Australian shipbuilder Strategic Marine has broken new ground by winning a contract to build a 23.9m new generation compact tug the first tugboat signing in the company's history.

The vessel, which has a 60 tonne bollard pull, has been ordered by the Port of Napier -- another breakthrough since the Port becomes Strategic Marine's first New Zealand client.

The steel vessel, which will have a deadweight of 105 tonnes and a free-running speed of 12 knots, will be powered by a Voith Water Tractor. These propulsion systems have become a byword for safety, reliability and precision in ship-handling and escort applications, with 800 Voith tugs currently operating in 120 ports worldwide.

Strategic Marine, which has built its reputation on high performance aluminium patrol boats and offshore service vessels, won its first contract to build steel-hulled vessels earlier this year from Singapore's Marfield Limited.

The new generation tug and the Marfield order for two 143m steel dive support vessels will be constructed at Strategic Marine's new 136,500sqm Vietnamese shipyard located in Vung Tau, a facility fully equipped to build steel boats.

The yard is also currently building the base pontoon for the AUD$62 million Floating Dry Dock on order from the Australian Marine Complex at Henderson in Western Australia, four 20m landing craft, and 40 12m offshore service vessels.

Vietnam Managing Director Mark Schiller said the company was delighted to reach yet another milestone in its business plan.

"This latest project will enable us to develop our reputation in the tugboat market, which is something that our Board of Directors committed to achieving in 2008," Mr Schiller said.

Strategic Marine's order book currently stands at more than US$200 million, with most of those orders won in the past 18 months from clients in South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

The company has built more than 320 vessels for domestic and export markets, including 186 high speed patrol boats for Australian, Nigerian, Singaporean and Malaysian government agencies.

Strategic Marine currently employs more than 1,000 staff and operates shipyards at its Henderson headquarters in Western Australia, Tuas in Singapore and Dong Xuyen Industrial Zone, Ba-Ria Vung Tau in southern Vietnam.

It will open its new Mexican yard in Mazatlan in May this year in partnership with Servicios Navales E Industriales S.A. DE C.V. (SENI).


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