First Argentinian-owned Damen ASD 2810 tug arrives in Buenos Aires.
Argentinian towage and harbour company Remolcadores Unidos Argentinos (RUA) has just taken delivery of the ‘RUA Cap. Lucio R’, a Damen ASD 2810 tug. Although Damen’s tugs have operated in Argentina before, this vessel is the first time a Damen tug is owned by an Argentinian company.
Established in 1967 and based in Buenos Aires, RUA has a seven-strong fleet of vessels with a smaller bollard pull than the ASD 2810 newbuild. The new vessel has 58 t bollard pull and is a reflection of the growing economy in Argentina and the fact that vessels calling into the country’s ports are increasing in size.
Ezequiel Najmias, Damen Sales Manager Americas, comments: “We were competing with companies in the region and with China. We are delighted that RUA recognised our quality/price ratio and awarded Damen the contract. We have a great relationship with RUA and wanted to help them achieve their goals.”
Dr Carlos Ruiz Moreno, RUA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, says: “Our family-owned, second generation company has had 45 uninterrupted years in the towage market in every Argentine port and with Damen there is perfect synergy between a serious company that wants to sell its products and another serious company that needs speed, quality, flexibility and good pricing. The favourable circumstances of a growing economy mean that we are already thinking of a second unit, as we firmly believe that there will continue to be healthy growth.”
The Damen ASD 2810 is tailor-made for harbour operations, says Mr Najmias. “It is the perfect design for operating in Buenos Aires.” Comfortably able to accommodate 10-crew, the tug is from stock so it could be delivered very quickly, he stresses, which was another reason RUA chose Damen. An order was officially placed in October 2011 and she was delivered in mid-February.
Even though the 2810 is particularly suited for port operations, the RUA Cap. Lucio R has proved itself on the ocean too. Built at Damen Shipyards Changde in China, the vessel had to embark on a two-month journey to reach Argentina – believed to be the longest journey a Damen tug has made. “A Damen crew sailed her over and she arrived in perfect condition. It is very satisfying to see the client and the crew happy,” Mr Najmias adds.
Dr Ruiz Moreno emphasises: “The whole process of negotiating, purchasing and receiving the ASD Tug 2810 has been a pleasant experience. I honestly must congratulate everyone at Damen that has been involved as this went well beyond our expectations.”
A spare parts package was delivered with the vessel and in addition Damen offered help from its Customer Finance Department. Both parties agreed on a financing schedule so RUA could get the vessel as soon as possible. “The Argentinian economy is growing very fast; I think there will be plenty more opportunities for cooperation in the future,” Mr Najmias says.