Although “only” 32 metres in LOA, these powerful (81 tonnes bollard pull) tugs were delivered under their own power from their builder’s yard in Turkey to their home in El Salvador. They therefore boast plentiful and comfortable crew accommodation and have considerable fuel tankage.

These remarkable vessels have everything needed in the way of deck equipment, electronics, firefighting equipment, and safety gear to perform every imaginable role required of modern tugs.

“Saam Acaxual and its sister Saam Centzunat are standouts in terms of their suite of safety features specifically tailored for operations at the Energia del Pacifico LNG terminal in El Salvador,” Uzmar told Baird Maritime. “Each tug has an exterior hazardous gas detection system, remotely controlled ventilation dampers, fan shut-downs, and explosion-proof deck machinery and lighting.

The builder said the detail engineering that went into the two tugs make them unique even among other tugs from the same series.

“The forward escort winch is also capable of very high responsiveness to wave action during escort, with rendering speeds up to 60 metres/minute.”

Uzmar said the work on the tugs was in line with its approach of improving upon earlier output, making sure each new vessel built by the shipyard is a better product compared to its predecessors.

As regards trends that currently influence shipbuilding, Uzmar commented on the growing importance of energy efficiency and “green” energy. Specifically, the reliance on fossil fuel should eventually give way to the broad adoption of alternative energy sources. Also, the company’s in-house research and development department, along with its design department, is working on new projects such as autonomous vessels and tugs that run on alternative fuels.

“Turkey is also leading the world in tugboat and general workboat construction,” Uzmar told Baird Maritime. “In our opinion, the skills and the expertise of our engineers and the vision of Turkish companies will keep on dominating the industry.”

Uzmar clarified that the competition is not always “price-based” in the domestic tug industry. Quality of output and detailed engineering during the building process are instead the actual factors that will determine success.