Eight new ART 85-32W Rotortugs® by Robert Allan Ltd. now in Port Hedland

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Eight of Robert Allan Ltd.’s new ART 85-32W Rotortugs® have arrived on site in Port Hedland, Western Australia. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd’s (FMG) subsidiary, Pilbara Marine Pty Ltd, selected the ART 85-32W Rotortug® design to make up their fleet of tugs for their towage operation in Port Hedland. Damen Shipyards constructed six of the vessels at their Song Cam shipyard in Vietnam while the remaining two vessels were constructed by Cheoy Lee Shipyards of Hong Kong. KOTUG is contract holder for the operation of the vessels on behalf of FMG.

The ART 85-32W design builds on the success of the ART 80-32, having a sponsoned hull form adapted to suit the Rotortug®concept, a similar layout of working decks, accommodations, and wheelhouse. The new tug has been modified to cope with the higher Bollard Pull, including 1.2 metres additional beam and increased flare to provide increased stability during escorting, while also enhancing manoeuvrability.

The Advanced Rotortugs® (ART) incorporate the patented triple Z-drive Rotortugs® concept, featuring omni-directional manoeuvrability, and the benefits of a fully redundant and precise propulsion machinery configuration. The Rotortug® concept offers increased redundancy for ship-handling and escort towing, as well as enhanced crew safety. Including these new arrivals, in total 19 harbour/escort Rotortugs and 4 offshore Rotortugs are active in Australia.

Specifics of the ART 85-32W Rotortugs® are as follows:


  • Length: 31.50 m
  • Beam: 13.70 m
  • Depth (Least Moulded): 4.82 m
  • Extreme Draft at 125 DWT: 6.10 m
  • GRT: 497


  • Fuel oil capacity: 185 m3
  • Fresh water capacity: 26.6 m3
  • Recovered oil capacity: 29.0 m3 (Note: Not fitted on all hulls.)


  • Three Main Engines CAT 3512C HD rated 1765 kW at 1800 rpm (“C” rated, IMO Tier II Compliant)
  • Three Schottel SRP 430 Z-drives (two forward, one aft) with 2.5 m fixed pitch propellers with built-in slipping clutches
  • Ibercisa Model MR-MAN/E/270/250-70/22 forward electric escort towing winch
  • Ibercisa MR-E/100/250-70/1 aft electric towing winch
  • Two Caterpillar C9.3 250 ekW ship service gensets
  • One CAT C4.4 86 ekW harbour genset

Vessels with firefighting notation have systems supplied by FFS including a single SFP 300x400XPC pump driven off the front of the port forward main engine and delivering 2850 m3/hour at 110 mWC. Monitors are model FFS1200 LB with 1200 m3/hour water capacity and 300 m3/hour foam capacity.

Ship-handling fenders at the bow comprise an upper row of 800 mm diameter cylindrical fender and a lower course of W-fender. W-fendering is positioned along the bow quarter sheer lines and 300 mm x 300 mm D-fender along the stern quarters. At the stern is an upper row of 800 mm diameter cylindrical fender and a lower course of W-fender.

The tugs were constructed to Lloyd’s Register Class requirements with the following notation:

LR ✠ 100A1 ESCORT TUG, ✠ LMC, ✠ UMS, *IWS, Fire-Fighting Ship 1 (2400 m3/hour) with waterspray, ShipRight IHM

On trials, the vessels achieved ahead and astern speeds of over 13 knots, side stepped at over 6 knots, and achieved bollard pulls in excess of 85 tonnes both ahead and astern.

The vessels have been outfitted to high standards for a crew of six persons. The main deckhouse contains the entrance lobby, galley, mess, two officer cabins with en suite WCs, and a common WC. The lower deck contains two double berth cabins with en suites, a laundry, galley stores, and a miscellaneous storeroom. The wheelhouse offers exceptional 360° views with unobstructed views of the entire fore and aft working decks from a single Alphatron integrated bridge control station.