Boluda Towage Europe has won a five-year concession to provide towage services at the Port of Zeebrugge, Belgium.
The decision was made by the port’s Board of Directors and follows a tendering procedure.
Starting on 1 January 2021, the concession is the renewal of an existing partnership and is extendable for a single period of three years.
“The focus of this partnership between Port of Zeebrugge and Boluda Towage Europe lays in efficient, smooth, and safe handling of shipping at a competitive price point, and puts forward initiatives regarding sustainability,” according to Boluda.
As informed, two new tugboats, that are complying with the most recent Tier III emission standards, will be put to use. Aside from the Union Koala, that was retrofitted to the IMO Tier III standards in 2019, Boluda Towage Europe will retrofit the Union Panda this year.
The emissions of the remaining tugboats will be reduced in the first two years of the contract. As such, emissions of nitrogen oxides will be reduced with 80 per cent. Shore power will also become the norm for moored tugboats, so that these can switch off their engines when inactive and during the rest-period of the crew, Boluda added.
A total of eight tugboats will be put into operation at the Port of Zeebrugge. These are all certified with the highest fire extinguishing standards. The tugs will be manned with local crew.
“We are proud that the concession for the towage services in the Port of Zeebrugge has been reassigned to us for the coming five years,” Geert Vandecappelle, Boluda Towage Europe’s CEO, commented.
“It is also thanks to our local crew members, and the support of their families that this concession was allocated to us. These crew members have given the best of themselves for our company in Zeebrugge, from the early years of URS until the present company Boluda Towage,” he added.
Zeebrugge, the seaport of Bruges, is a maritime crossroads shipping nearly 46 million tons of goods annually. The coastal port is one of the world’s foremost roll-on/roll-off ports and a fully equipped container port due to its infrastructure and water depth.
Boluda Towage Europe is part of Boluda Towage Group which is present in 90 ports across the globe, operating a fleet of over 300 tugboats.
In 2017, Boluda Corporacion Maritima acquired the German towage companies of Unterweder Reederei and Lutgens & Reimers. And recently, on 1 August 2019, Boluda Corporación Marítima acquired Kotug Smit Towage.
Source: World Maritime News