The Boluda Corporación Marítima chairman today presented two new smart ships, intelligent tugboats that form part of its Spanish fleet, choosing the Bay of Algeciras Port Authority as this Cadiz port has the best towage and salvage fleet in Spain
The ceremony also paid tribute to Juan González, head of the company’s towage division Boluda Towage and Salvage from 2006 to 2016, who passed away two years ago
Boluda Towage and Salvage leads the towing sector in Spain and ranks second in the international arena
“As a family business founded by my grandfather in 1920 with a small wooden tugboat, as we approach our centenary we are proud to bring to the towage sector the greatest technological advances so far in the history of navigation in Spain.” Boluda Corporación Marítima chairman Vicente Boluda spoke during the official launch of its next generation smart ships held yesterday at the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras.
This event marks the official inauguration of two of four completed tugboats in a series of ten designed by the prestigious Canadian naval architects’ studio Robert Allan Ltd. and built in Zamakona Shipyards in Pasajes, Guipúzcoa. The VB JUANGONZALEZ and the VB CEBALLOS have been operating in the Bay of Algeciras port since August 2017 and January 2018 respectively, while the VB XALOC and the VB XEREA were put into operation in the port of Valencia at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017.
The ceremony was attended by more than a hundred people from the maritime and port sector connected to the Bay of Algeciras, including the Port Authority president Manuel Morón, as well as Boluda Corporación Marítima vice-chairmen Vicente and Ignacio Boluda Ceballos, and the company’s management team. President of Ceuta Port Authority José Torrado also attended. During the inauguration guests enjoyed a manoeuvrability display performed by the VB JUANGONZALEZ and VB CEBALLOS tugboats.
Algeciras was chosen to inaugurate the new Boluda Towage and Salvage tugboats as this Port Authority possesses Spain’s best tugboat and marine salvage fleet, currently comprising 11 units. It was also the appropriate site to pay tribute to Merchant Navy captain Juan González Martínez, the former ANARE vice-chairman who headed Boluda Towage and Salvage for ten years from 2006 to 2016 until his death in Cádiz on 7 August 2016.
In his speech, Vicente Boluda underlined that Boluda Towage and Salvage has been investing in new technology and technical advances in shipbuilding since 2016. “This is in line with our goal to maintain our leadership and continue to be a benchmark in the international maritime safety sector,” he affirmed.
This new generation of tugboats, below 500 GT, are 31.57m long and 12.80m beam, with a depth of 6.5m and a maximum speed of 13.5 knots. The powerful tugs feature Caterpillar Mak diesel engines, powered by 7,500 hp and Voith Schneider cycloidal propulsion, with an 80 ton bollard pull. They are also equipped with Fi-Fi 1-class firefighting and oil-recovery systems.
Tribute to Juan González
Boluda also linked this presentation with a tribute to the impeccable professionalism, dedication and approachability that marked Merchant Navy captain Juan González’s professional career: “His memory will be cherished and with the new tugboat VB JUANGONZALEZ his name will be linked always to maritime safety operations in the waters of the Bay of Algeciras “.
Vicente Boluda stressed “thanks our combined efforts we have become sector leaders in Spain, and currently with our fleet of 250 tugboats we are proud to occupy the second position in towing operators worldwide following our expansion into Germany in 2017”.
To bring the ceremony to a close he presented plaques to Juan González’s children Elena and Ricardo González on behalf of Boluda Corporación Marítima, in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the company.