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Spanish yard delivers first tug for expanded Panama Canal

Spanish yard delivers first tug for expanded Panama Canal
Spanish shipbuilding and repair company Astilleros Armon SA has delivered the tug Cerro Itamut, the first of a series of 14 tractor-type tugs of 70 tonnes bollard pull vessels to increase the current fleet of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP).

The $158.3m contract was awarded in October 2011. Those 14 new tugs are specially designed to more effectively assist post-panamax vessels through the future third set of locks and will be received by tranche, four in 2013, six in 2014 and the remaining four in 2015. The ACP’s existing tug fleet now totals 37, including this new tug.

The tugs will assist larger vessels transiting the current and improved canal and attend anchoring and other maneuvers in the waterway. The longer and wider locks of the canal under construction will operate with tugs to assist the transit of ships, unlike the existing canal, which also uses locomotives.

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