UK Signs Emergency Towing Vessel ‘Ievoli Black’ to 5-Year Contract Off Scotland

The Ievoli Black was built in 2010 at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. Photo: Marnavi/Handout
The Ievoli Black was built in 2010 at the Remontowa Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. Photo: Marnavi/Handout

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has signed a 5-year agreement with the marine salvage company Ardent for emergency towage services off the north and north-western coasts of Scotland using the tug Ievoli Black.

The 2,283 gross tonnes Ievoli Black, owned by Italian shipping company Marnavi, measures 70 meters and has a towing capacity of 139 bollard pull. It is capable of firefighting operations, anchor handling, towing, research and underwater services. The vessel has a history in ETV operations, having served as an ETV for the Netherlands from 2010 to 2013.

ETV Ievoli Black. Credit: Marnavi
ETV Ievoli Black. Credit: Marnavi

The vessel is currently en route from the Adriatic and is scheduled to arrive on station at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands by the end of the year, where it will relieve the current ETV Herakles. The hand-off is scheduled for December 31.

The MCA said the contract was awarded after an open market competition involving 22 bids, which were evaluated based on vessel type and dimensions, age, bollard pull, speed, crew complement and experience, training and exercises, efficiency and the chargeable day rate. 

“This award demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to protecting the marine environment, specifically recognising the particular challenge in north and north-western Scotland where commercial tugs are scarce. The new contract provides the region with a new vessel which will regularly patrol her designated operations area,” the MCA said in a press release.

The current ETV, Herakles, has been on lease to the MCA since 2012 and the contract expires a the end of this month.

Ardent currently provides emergency towage, salvage support or consultation to eight governmental agencies worldwide. The company was formed in 2015 with the combining of Titan Salvage and Svitzer and has a long-standing relationship with the MCA. In January 2015, Ardent staff, working for Svitzer at the time, refloated the grounded car carrier Hoegh Osaka in Southampton, one of the biggest salvage jobs of the year handled by the MCA.

“We are proud to lead the maritime and offshore services market as an emergency preparedness and response partner,” said Oliver Timofei, Ardent Director of Emergency Management.

“The MCA is seen as a standard bearer of the governmental maritime safety agencies and we are excited to work together once again,” said Timofei.

“The award of this contract caps a 2016 where Ardent has seen significant positive development, including successful completion of the merger, a strong HSEQ and operational track record”. said Peter Pietka, Ardent CEO.

Last month, the company completed the salvage industries’ largest wreck removal of 2016 with the removal of the collapsed Troll Solution jack-up in the southern Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico.