Nine new Voith water tractors cater for safety at Mexican oil terminals

Mexico’s state-owned petroleum company Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos) invests in a modern tug fleet. Voith was awarded to supply the propulsion for nine new Voith water tractors (VWT) which are to enhance the safety of oil tankers entering and clearing port at several terminals as of 2016. During an extensive selection process, the vessels powered by two Voith Schneider propellers (VSP) stood out with regard to their low susceptibility to debris. The Spanish Shipyard ARMON (Astilleros Armón) will provide the project with it’s own in-house design using VWT configuration, project management, technical advice on location and the supply of all main equipment.

In the Gulf of Mexico the VWT will be used at the Pemex terminals of Madero, Tuxpan and Pajaritos and on the Pacific coast in the terminal of Pemex Topolobampo. During the rainy season in particular, the oil trans-shipment ports located on rivers are severely affected by debris washed out into the ocean from inland. This regularly results in damage to the propulsion systems of the current tug fleet.

PEMEX took the decision to select the new Voith water tractors after compiling several studies and holding talks with other customers such as the Panama Canal Authority. The Voith Schneider propellers proved to be extremely robust. They had a positive effect throughout, both in terms of running costs and downtimes as well as regarding the handling of prevail-ing strong currents.

Construction of the vessels attracted attention in Mexico as it forms a significant contribution to the reactivation of the local shipbuilding industry. The tugs will be built in the shipyard “Astimar 20” operated by the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) in the pacific coast of Mexico.

The nine Voith water tractors will be identical in construction. They will have a length of 32.5 meters, a beam of 11 meters and will reach a maximum speed of 13 knots. Eight of the water tractors will be equipped with two VSP 28R5/210-2 each and will have a power of 2 x 1,945kW. These tugs will have a bollard pull of 50 tons. Another tug is to reach a bollard pull of 60 tons and will be propelled by two VSP 30R5/250-2 with a total power of 4,800kW. The Voith scope of supply includes 18 VSP, 18 turbo couplings, 18 RENK couplings and nine control stands.
Voith Turbo, a group division of Voith GmbH, is a specialist for intel-ligent drive solutions. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, mining and mechanical engineering, ship technology, rail and commercial vehicles rely on advanced technologies from Voith Turbo.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials and transportation and automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 43 000 people, generates €5.7 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe.

By Professional Mariner Staff