PDVSA pens tug series

A Dutch shipbuilder has lined up a contract to construct ten tugs for Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

In a statement Damen Shipyards Group said the order reflects a strategic shift from chartered to owned tonnage and signals the state-controlled energy giant’s commitment to fleet renewal.

Seven of the ASD 2810-type tugs will be constructed by the shipbuilding conglomerate’s facility in Romania, Damen Shipyards Galati.

The remainder will be built in Vietnam by Song Cam, a joint venture between Damen and Shipbuilding Industry Corp, formerly known as Vinashin.

The company failed to shed light on how much PDVSA is paying for the units but said all ten are scheduled for delivery by the end of next month.

When the tugs hit the water Damen says they will likely provide mooring and manoeuvring support to tankers in Venezuelan ports and harbours.

It also pointed out that the contract, which marks its first transaction with PDVSA, may be followed by more in the months to come.

“In addition to tug newbuilding contracts, the shipbuilder and PDVSA are in active discussions over the possibility of Damen setting up service and maintenance facilities to support the operations of its new fleet of tugs in Venezuela,” it added.