The Yemen Port Authority fleet at Aden have taken delivery of bollard pull Tug “Wadi Hassan” built by Damen Shipyard in The Netherlands. Each of the Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tugs has two propellers that can rotate through 360 degrees to give tremendous manoeuvring ability ahead, astern and sideways. This tug, and her sister vessel “Wadi Hateeb” due to complete trials in Holland next week, are an important addition to Aden’s towing capacity. The numbers of tankers, bulk carriers, container ships and other vessels calling at the port has more than doubled since 1995 and the total tonnage of ships calling has trebled over the same time. Towage capacity was becoming a limiting factor at the port. In 2001 the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs decided to order these large new tugs, adding their essential weight and power to improve operations at the three major terminals, harbour moorings and bunkering berths in Aden.
The port now has depths of 15.0 metres in the approach channels and 700 metre diameter Inner Harbour turning area, 14.7 meters in the Oil Harbour, 16.0 meters at the Aden Container Terminal and 11.0 metres at the Ma’alla Multi-purpose Terminal. A new jetty with an alongside depth of 15.0 m for bulk carriers of up to 70,000 TDW is due to be built over the next 18 months, emphasizing the fact that the new tugs are a timely and necessary addition to port capacity.
During the coming two weeks Dutch professionals will train a number of YPA personnel in operation of this tug. These include the three crew members who sailed with the tug from Rotterdam, through some very stormy seas, and other experienced skippers and crew who man the tugs already in operation at Aden. The 4,800 BHP engines and rudders are controlled through ‘joysticks’ on the bridge, there is no steering wheel, so new skills for harbour towing operations are needed by the skippers and crew. The tugs are also, of course, fully fitted out with radar, satellite navigation system
, fire fighting and safety equipment etc., all to latest international requirements.
Over the coming years Wadi Hassan and Wadi Hateeb will become familiar to all those living around the waterfront of Aden as they help to handle the many ships that use this major port.
The Ministry and Port Authority are keen to see further development of a port that offers around 50 square kilometers of sheltered water situated directly on the world’s major east-west trade route via the Suez Canal.