It is one of the world's most important trade ports: the Egyptian port of Alexandria, a metropolis of some 4 million inhabitants. Located right on the western end of the Nile Delta, the port handles container and cruise vessels bound for the Suez Canal. Following the opening of the Suez Canal expansion in August, Egypt is hoping for a significant increase in transiting vessels. The Port Authority has placed orders for a total of four new additional port tugs equipped with Voith Schneider Propellers (VSP) with two Egyptian shipyards.
The vessels have been ordered to complement its current fleet of nine Voith Water Tractors (VWT). The specification of the new vessels was based on the study carried out by Voith. It resulted in the Port Authority requiring conventional port tugs in two sizes.
Two VWT with a bollard pull of 40 tons are equipped with two VSP 26R5/195-2 each. The vessels with a length of 29 meters and a beam of 9.5 meters reach speeds of 13 knots. The other two VWT have a bollard pull of 50 tons. They are propelled by two VSP 28R5/210-2 ensuring safe and reliable maneuvering in port. With a length of 35 meters and a beam of 11.5 meters, they are also designed for a speed of 13 knots.
But for these tugs it is not speed that matters. Voith Water Tractors have been in use in the port of Alexandria since 1989. "Maneuverability, robustness, and reliability have been and continue to be the key reasons for us to decide in favor of the proven Voith VSP propulsion concept", says Admiral Abdelkader Darwish, head of the Alexandria Port Authority.
By the end of this year the first VSPs will be shipped to Egypt, in time for the new port tugs to be launched by the end of 2016.