Svitzer to build next-gen TRAnsverse Tug

Written by Nick Blenkey
TRAnsverse tug seen from three-quarters aft

TRAnsverse Tug is able to generate higher steering forces than most designs of similar dimensions

Maersk group towage operator Svitzer has reached an agreement with naval architect firm Robert Allan Ltd. and Turkey’s Sanmar Shipyards to build a next-generation TRAnsverse Tug.

The first of these multipurpose tugs will be a 25.8 meter, 60 tonne bollard pull vessel built to comply with IMO Tier III emissions regulations.

The tug is designed with thrusters in line and an omni directional hull form. To make full use of its advanced capabilities the tug is equipped with a render recovery double drum escort winch and a set of 100 T SWL tow pins.

In addition to its innovative design emphasis have been put on ease of operation for the onboard crew implementing technologies, such as the Svitzer Catcher to allow for line handling from the bridge.

According to Svitzer, the TRAnsverse Tug is able to generate higher steering forces than most designs of similar dimensions and comes with an innovative stable design and an ability to push, pull and maneuver in all directions – all neatly wrapped in a smaller and nimbler tug boat. With omni direction hull form and propulsion, steering forces over the full range of speeds and maneuvers, and a unique towing arrangement, the compact and fuel-efficient TRAnsverse Tug design is scalable and suitable for all types of harbor and terminal towage operations.

Looking ahead, the TRAnsverse Tug will provide the base design for the recently announced carbon neutral methanol fuel cell tug that Svitzer and Maersk are developing together with Robert Allan Ltd.


“This tug is a game changer,” said Svitzer COO Ingrid Uppelschoten Snelderwaard. “Our customers expect us to deliver flexible and environmentally friendly towage services at a competitive price and it is our passion to think out of the box and deliver innovative solutions to meet these expectations. I am proud that we are able to pave the way for future tug designs and at the same time ease the transition from the marine fuel we use today to the future carbon neutral fuels that we are transitioning to over the coming years.”

Together with a core Svitzer team, Thomas Bangslund, Svitzer’s Head of Technical Innovation, has led the invention of the new tug design that after a series of successful tank tests and simulations is now ready to be built by Sanmar with Robert Allan as the designer.

The first Svitzer TRAnsverse tug will be built for Svitzer Europe harbor towage duties with expected delivery in third quarter 2023.

“Integrating all these technologies into one vessel has never been done before and it was a real challenge to do it in a way that is safe, functional, and economical,” said James Hyslop, manager, project development, Robert Allan Ltd. “It was only after an exhaustive tank testing program at HSVA Hamburg, with valuable input from Svitzer’s Masters, that the final layout was determined. Our design team is looking forward to the opportunities that will come with the construction and testing of this tug, as it paves the way for future newbuilds in the Svitzer fleet.”

Quarter bow view [Image: Robert Allan Ltd.]

Robert Allan Ltd. says that, working under guidance from Svitzer’s teams from Technical Innovation, Projects and Engineering, and Marine Operations, an extensive tank testing program was conducted at HSVA, Hamburg. Several iterations of propulsion layout, appendages and towing arrangement were tested in various operating scenarios and the final layout was selected based on optimal performance, controllability, and safety.  CFD validation of performance has been conducted by the hydrodynamics team at Robert Allan Ltd. and the results corroborated with the model testing.

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