Marine Log

April 27, 2006

Bourbon orders 12 tugs

France's Bourbon has followed up its recent announcement of orders for 56 OSV's by announcing orders for 12 tugs for its Towage & Salvage Division.

Bourbon is ordering eight tugs from the Piriou shipyards in Concarneau,France, and four from Damen's shipyards in China.

The eight tugs ordered in France will be used to upgrade Bourbon's Les Abeilles fleet in major French ports.

Bourbon says it is satisfied with the technical and operational specifications of the tugs Abeille Barfleur and Croisic tugs built by the Piriou shipyards and based at Le Havre and Nantes-Saint Nazaire. It is ordering the same type of tugs from the same yards but has modified the specifications to boost the power and add technical improvements.

The tugs will be 30 m long and 10 m wide and will be equipped with Azimuthing Stern Drive. Bollard pull will be increased from 57 to 65 tons and the tugs will also have fire-fighting capabilities.

Deliveries are scheduled between October 2007 and the end of 2008.

The four tugs being built by the Chinese subsidiary of the Damen shipyards are designed to contribute to the international expansion of the towage and assistance business.

The 28 m long and 10 m wide tugs will have a bollard pull capacity of 58.5 tons and Azimuthing Stern Drive propulsion and fire-fighting capability.

Bourbon notes that the order is identical to an order placed with Damen in 2005 for the Tangier-Mediterranean contract.

Yves Rastoin, Chief Executive Officer of Les Abeilles noted: "Under the Bourbon Horizon 2010 strategic plan, we reaffirmed our goal to expand the towage and salvage business and to improve the standard of our fleet. With these 12 reliable, compact and highly maneuverable vessels, Les Abeilles is meeting the demands of its clients and adapting to the challenge posed by larger LNG tankers and mega-containerships, as well as strengthening its position in international bid tenders."