New tugboat for a windswept port: Powerful Sibba to assist large vessels safely in and out of Port of Hirtshals.
Sibba is the name of Port of Hirtshals' new tugboat, which has just arrived. The investment in a new and significantly stronger tugboat is part of the port's strategy to assist more large vessels in navigating to and from the dock under challenging wind conditions. There is already a current need for this assistance, and the demand is expected to increase further when the port undergoes a historically significant expansion in a few years.
The new tugboat named Sibba has just arrived from Turkey to Port of Hirtshals after a journey of just over three weeks at sea. The new tugboat will help large vessels safely dock and depart when the wind is strong. The port has invested in the new tugboat to enhance safety and accommodate the planned port expansion, which will bring more significant vessels, such as roll-on/roll-off ships and specialized vessels for loading and unloading CO2, to Hirtshals in the coming years.
"Our old tugboat was not up to date because it was not powerful enough to meet our needs. As most people know, it can be very windy in Hirtshals from time to time, and we naturally want to enhance safety for existing and future customers. This becomes even more critical in the coming years as the port expansion means that larger ships can call at the port," says Per Holm Nørgaard, CEO of Port of Hirtshals.
Initially, Sibba will primarily assist large ferries arriving or departing when wind conditions are unfavorable. Today's ferries are larger than before, and Port of Hirtshals can provide better service to ferry companies and future customers because the new tugboat is significantly more robust than the old one. When new customers use the port, they can also feel secure knowing that they can receive assistance in harsh weather conditions.
The captains of the ferries have extensive experience navigating Port of Hirtshals, which can be a challenging environment during strong winds. However, not all captains share the same level of experience, and there is no doubt that our strategy to attract more large vessels after the port expansion necessitates having a modern tugboat with plenty of power," says Robert Hansen, Master Mariner and Fleet Manager at Port of Hirtshals.
He adds that Sibba is more environmentally friendly than the old tugboat because its engine is newer and subject to stricter environmental requirements, resulting in lower CO2 emissions.
The new tugboat is an ASD type, 18.7 meters long, and 9.2 meters wide. It has a bollard pull of over 30 tons, which is more than double that of the old tugboat. Bollard pull is a measure of how many tons a tugboat can pull while stationary.
Boat type thoroughly tested the port's old tugboat was built in 1979 and has been providing assistance to ships in Hirtshals since 2005. Sibba was built in 2019 as the 10th in a series of 17, and in addition to a doubling in towing capacity, the new tugboat is also controlled in a different way, including the use of a special type of joystick, which is new for the crew. Therefore, thorough training of the tugboat personnel is underway to ensure they are equipped to maneuver the new boat.
"We have purchased a tugboat that has been thoroughly tested and can operate under the wind conditions in Hirtshals. We have explored the market over the past two years and inspected several boats to ensure that we got the right quality. We are confident that with Sibba, we have found a tugboat that meets our needs both today and in the future," says Robert Hansen.
He adds that Port of Hirtshals is one of the few Danish ports with a permanent tugboat service and can provide assistance with just a few hours' notice. This will be especially advantageous when more large ships come to Hirtshals after the harbor expansion, scheduled to be completed in 2027.