Port Taranaki’s new tug Kīnaki was put into the water for the first time at the weekend and is on track for completion at the end of December.
Port Taranaki marine engineering supervisor Grant Squire was at the tug’s launch at Turkish tug-building company Sanmar Shipyards, near Istanbul, and said he was pleased with progress.
“It’s really exciting. She’s a beautiful vessel and the build is meeting all our expectations,” Mr Squire said.
“Launching represents a significant milestone in the project, marking completion of all major construction. The remaining work is predominantly installation of electrical systems and fitting out of internal linings, and furnishings.
“All anti-corrosive coatings are complete but the final colour is yet to be added to above-deck surfaces, to match Port Taranaki fleet colours.”
During sea trials in December, the vessel will be checked for final compliance with maritime rules.
Once completed, the tug will be lifted on to a heavy lift vessel and transported to New Zealand. Kīnaki is expected to be in operation at Port Taranaki in April 2018.
“We look forward to seeing the vessel trialled in Istanbul and even more so to seeing it operational in New Zealand,” Mr Squire said.
Kīnaki is a 25m in-harbour tractor tug and is the first build of a new line of tugs by Sanmar Shipyards. It is based on a design by leading tug designer Robert Allan, of Canada. The state-of-the-art tug boasts Caterpillar engines, Rolls-Royce propellers, and an electric towing winch by DMT. It includes three two-berth cabins and will be operated by three people.
Kīnaki will replace the 45-year-old Kupe, the oldest of Port Taranaki’s three tugs. It has a maximum bollard pull in excess of 60 tonnes, which is now the industry norm as larger vessels dominate. Port Taranaki’s other tugs, the Tuakana and Rupe, have a bollard pull of 40 tonnes and 29 tonnes respectively. The Kupe will be put up for sale and released after the new tug is in operation.
“Because it is a new line of tug, interest in Kīnaki is very high from European companies, such that Sanmar have three more under construction to meet expected demand. For us this is a strong endorsement of the concept we have chosen,” Mr Squire said.