MARCH 15, 2017 — Panama based Meyer's Group has ordered two, powerful Damen ASD 2913 tugs to operate in the newly expanded Panama Canal.
Meyer's Group CEO Michel Mittelmeyer says that the company was awarded a contract last year to offer towage support in the new Panama Canal locks and that these new tugs fulfill the requirements of the Panama Canal Authority for more powerful vessels, of at least 80 tonnes bollard pull, needed given the ever-increasing size of vessels transiting the Canal.
The two new tugs will give the company an 11-strong fleet, six of them Damen vessels
In 2012, the Meyer's Group bought two Damen ASD 2810 Tugs and an ASD 3212. But before this, the company had also chartered many Damen vessels..
"We have known Damen Shipyards Group for many years now, and respect the quality of its vessel construction and this is coupled with very good service support," says Mr. Mittelmeyer. "Damen provides reliable, quality vessels, which are cost-efficient in the longer term. That is why we decided to remain loyal to Damen again this time."
The latest two additions - Arcangel San Rafael and Arcangel San Gabriel - will join the fleet in May and August.
"The company really wants to maintain a very new fleet in Panama," Mr. Mittelmeyer says. "With the Panama Canal expansion there has been a substantial pick-up in activity. And even though there maybe fewer feeder vessels, these are being replaced with the mega containerships and tankers, hence the need for stronger, versatile tugs."
Mr. Mittelmeyer said that Damen ASD 2913 has great maneuverability, is very responsive, safe, comfortable for the crew and provides top quality. Additionally, Damen could also provide a fast delivery time for the vessels, which are being customized with aft winches and FiFi 1.
Damen Sales Manager Latin America, Pieter Becker, adds: "The Meyer's Group is a very loyal customer and it is a good sign that they have come back to us again. Damen very much enjoys partnering the Meyer's Group and supporting them in their success. It is also nice that Damen tugs now have a significant presence at the Panama Canal."