Fortescue Metals Group’s subsidiary Pilbara Marine has ordered six 32-metre rotor tugs from Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards to support its operations at Australian port of Port Hedland.
The order was placed on the back of the company’s second towage licence granted for the port of Port Hedland in late May 2016, where the tugs will be deployed following delivery.
Designed by Robert Allan Ltd, the tugs, which will be built at Damen’s Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam, feature the ART 85-32W class.
The first two are scheduled for delivery ex-yard by the end of October 2018, with the remaining four are due in early 2019.
Fortescue exports 165-170 million tonnes of iron ore per year from Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export port located on Australia’s west coast.
Earlier in March, the company loaded the largest shipment of iron ore aboard at vessel HL Tubarao at the port of Port Hedland.
The vessel loaded a total of 270,006 tonnes and departed at a record sailing draft of 19.95 metres, according to Pilbara Ports Authority.
The largest single shipment beats the previous record set by the vessel CSB Years in April 2015 which loaded a total cargo of 264,858 tonnes.