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Two New Tugboats in Service on the Loire Estuary

Having arrived in Saint Nazaire in August, the tugboats VB Concorde and VB Mirage will be coming into service at the end of September. These tugs are the first in a series of eight new units ordered by Boluda France from the Piriou Group, in Concarneau (North-Western France).

Pursuing its strategy of developing and upgrading its fleet, Boluda France has just taken delivery of two new versatile ASD tugboats offering 75 tonnes of bollard pull. Built at the Piriou Group’s yard in Nha Be, in Vietnam, the tugboats were unloaded at Montoir de Bretagne, and then completed their first trials in the Saint Nazaire dock basins.

These high-performance, innovative tugs are very manoeuvrable, measure 30.3 metres in length and are fitted with two Caterpillar engines totalling 4480 kW and with two Schottel azimuth thrusters. Perfectly suited to the operational requirements of their home port, they will help to improve the safety and reliability of tugging operations. They will notably be able to keep pace with developments in the activities at the Port, which is receiving vessels of greater and greater capacity, whether they be LNG carriers, container ships or cruise liners.

The powerful, "Escort" and "FIFI 1" tugboats are fitted with all the equipment necessary for operations at sea. The two new units are the product of a close collaboration between the Piriou Group and Boluda France, which is set to continue with the delivery of two units for the Marseille facility at the end of 2019.

Tugging operations in Saint Nazaire are now carried out by seven tugboats in the Boluda fleet: the VB Concorde, VB Mirage, VB Typhon, VB Ouragan, VB Croisic, VB Saint-Marc and VB Pouliguen.

Contact at Boluda Nantes Saint-Nazaire – Luc Varin

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