Towage company Svitzer has announced plans to more than double its fleet of Brazilian-flagged tugs in 2017, the company said Wednesday.
The company also announced it will be starting a new service in Paranagua and has hired a new Managing Direct and Commercial Director for Brazil.
Svitzer, which is part of Maersk Group, says this month two new Brazilian-flag tugs are starting operations at the Paranagua Port, joining the company’s operations at Sao Francisco do Sul and Itapoa in the southern portion of Brazil. Svitzer also says it is building four new tugs at Inace shipyard in Fortaleza with delivery expected in the second half of 2017.
The addition of the six tugs will bring Svitzer’s Brazilian-flag fleet to 10 tugs by year-end. Svitzer recently started operations in Argentina, assigning there some of the foreign-flag ships originally brought to Brazil in 2015.
Svitzer entered the Brazilian towage in May 2015 with the acquisition of Transmar Servicos Maritimos. The new investments in Brazil are port of a broader BRL 200 million program announced in 2015.
Svitzer also announced that it has appointed Rutger Thulin to head operations in Brazil. Thulin is former CFO for Svitzer in Europe, where the company operates 110 tugs. Thulin is joined by Ricardo Costa, who worked for four years at Sulnorte and another 12 years at Hapag-Lloyd.
“There is strong demand for a provider that offers world-class services, best practices, reliability and punctuality in Brazil, and this is especially important for our portfolio of global and local clients”, says Thulin. “Paranagua is part of our growth strategy and strengthens our position in the south of Brazil as we continue to invest in Brazilian flag ships.”
The new Paranagua vessels – 77 and 75 TBP tugs – are of Robert Allan design and were built at the Cheoy Lee Shipyard.