The VB BOLERO, VB RUMBA, VB SAMBA and VB FLANDES vessels were built by Damen Shipyards

Zeebrugge, Belgium, 17 September, 2021

Boluda Corporación Marítima towing division Boluda Towage has taken into service four newly built Damen tugboats – the VB BOLERO, VB RUMBA, VB FLANDES and VB SAMBA – following extension of the towing service concession in Zeebrugge port in Belgium. This major investment was marked with an official naming ceremony for the ships in the abovementioned Belgian port on 16 September.

The christening of the four new tugs was attended among others by Boluda Corporación Marítima and Boluda Towage chairman Vicente Boluda Fos, Minister of Justice and the North Sea Vincent Van Quickenborne, West Flanders governor Carl Decaluwé and Dirk De fauw, the mayor of Bruges.

Beyond an efficient, smooth and safe service, commitment to sustainability was also key in the agreement to extend the concession formalized between the Zeebrugge Port Authority and Boluda Towage in 2020.

Indeed, the newly built tugs are certified to the highest firefighting standards and meet IMO Tier-III emission requirements, reducing tugboat emissions such as nitrogen oxide by 80%. Shore power is also becoming the norm for moored tugs, allowing them shut down engines when idle and during crew rest periods.

As part of the naming ceremony for the four tugboats expanding Boluda Towage Europe’s fleet, the VB BOLERO was sponsored by Ann Staelens, wife of Dirk De fauw, mayor of Bruges and president of the port of Zeebrugge; the VB RUMBA by Annemie Malfait, wife of Tom Hautekiet, CEO of the Zeebrugge Port Authority; the VB FLANDES by Veronique van de Reijt, Mrs Rob Smeets, COO of the Port of Antwerp, and the VB SAMBA by Chantal Orlans, director of Corporate Affairs at Zeebrugge Port Authority.

Chairman of Boluda Corporación Marítima and Boluda Towage Vicente Boluda Fos highlighted that “Boluda Towage’s major investment in the construction of these four new tugboats is just one example of the company’s focus on providing the best service and maximum security in northern European ports”.

As executive vice president of Boluda Towage Vicente Boluda Ceballos stressed in his speech, “the four new tugs in the Zeebrugge fleet align with goals at Boluda Towage and the port of Zeebrugge of achieving the latest technology, the highest efficiency and reduced emissions”.

Boluda Towage Europe CEO Geert Vandecappelle thanked the ship’s godmothers for their commitment and underlined Boluda Towage’s appreciation of years of cooperation between the Zeebrugge/MBZ Port Authority, Antwerp Port and Boluda Towage.

The VB BOLERO and VB RUMBA are highly manoeuvrable, high-performance and environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art vessels. With a bollard pull of 85 tons, the ASD 2813 tugs were built at the Damen Song Cam shipyard in Vietnam. Thanks to their operational flexibility, the tugs can be used for port and terminal (un)berthing, escort and firefighting operations, as well as coastal and offshore towing operations.

The 80-ton bollard pull, ART80-32 Advanced Rotortug models the VB FLANDES and VB SAMBA were built at the Albwardy Damen shipyard in the United Arab Emirates. The Rotortug’s triangular configuration ensures optimal propulsion and faster handling, while providing greater safety and high-precision manoeuvring in all situations.