FEBRUARY 11, 2015 — Construction of the first four of nine Voith Water Tractor (VWT) tugs has started at Mexico's Astimar 20 shipyard with a keel laying ceremony that was attended by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The tugs are being built for national oil company Pemex for use at its terminals on both coasts. During the rainy season in particular, they are severely affected by debris washed out into the ocean from inland. This regularly results in damage to the propulsion systems of the current tug fleet. The new tugs are each propelled by two Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP), well known for their low susceptibility to debris. They are being built to an in-house design by Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Armón which is also supplying the Mexican yard with project management and technical advice.
"Voith Turbo is excited to supply the Voith Propulsion System for this project that is important not only to Mexico's oil and gas industry, but to the Mexicans who will benefit from the jobs created by the project," said Karlo Populus, Marine Subdirector for Voith Turbo in Mexico. "These Voith Water Tractors, utilizing the state-of-the-art Voith Schneider propeller, will serve Pemex well and deliver unmatched maneuverability, versatility, and safety."
The nine Voith Water Tractors will be identical in construction. They will have a length of 32.5 meters, a beam of 11 meters and will reach a maximum speed of 13 knots. Eight of the Water Tractors will be equipped with two VSP 28R5/210-2 each and will have a power of 2 x 1,945 kW. These tugs will have a bollard pull of 50 tons. The ninth tug will have a bollard pull of 60 tons and will be propelled by two VSP 30R5/250-2 with a total power of 4,800 kW. The Voith scope of supply includes 18 VSP, 18 Turbo Couplings, 18 Renk couplings and nine control stands.