Smooth operator

Drawing upon a history that stretches back to 1911, Kotug is a leading towage services provider, operating an impressive fleet of more than 100 tugs all over the world. Specialised in terminal and harbour towage, offshore and salvage operations, as well as chartering, the Rotterdam-headquartered company has established a strong presence in Europe, Russia, Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Caribbean, demonstrating unambiguous aspirations to continue expanding its activities worldwide. Over the years, Kotug has amassed valuable experience working for the oil and gas, mining, renewables, dredging, shipping, and construction industries.

The company’s business model includes offering its services on a worldwide scale. In order to provide the best solution to its clients, formation of joint ventures with local partners can be formed, which allows the parties to combine global knowledge with local expertise, putting them in a strong position to deal with a variety of complex international projects.

Terminal towage assistance ranks among the key activities for Kotug. The business delivers its escorting, berthing, and safety cover services at port facilities, as well as floating facilities such as FSO, FPSO, FLNG, FSRU, and SPM terminals.

On the harbour towage front, Kotug safely assists a wide range of vessels to and from their berthing places at the busiest ports in the world, currently performing over 100,000 towage assistances per year. Having built a proven track record in offshore towage support, Kotug provides decommissioning, construction, rig moves, and offshore terminals services to the offshore, renewables, dredging, and oil and gas sectors. As a proponent of the customised approach, it always strives to tailor a solution that exactly matches the requirements of every single client. To this end, Kotug selects those tug boats on its fleet that are best equipped to perform the job required from them. Furthermore, the company is capable of providing experienced tow masters, expert advice, project co-ordination, towing manuals, and tailored training, if and when required.

Kotug is also experienced in delivering charter management services for various types of tugs via its subsidiary Kotug Chartering Limited. The latter owns multiple tugs that are available for a KT 159 blong-term charter period to international clients, while continuously acquiring and purchasing new tugs. Among its fleet is the unique Rotortug and its most powerful representative, the ART 100-46, which was recently named RT Raven.

Managed by KT-Maritime Services Australia – a full 100 per cent subsidiary of the KOTUG group, the RT Raven was deployed by ConocoPhillips in the Bayu Undan field, north of Australia. The tug’s functions include the provision of offshore services, towage assistance, personnel transfer, and standby duties in the Timor Sea. Twenty years after the first series of Rotortug was built, Kotug was able to construct the largest ever tug of its kind, measuring 46 metres in length and boasting a bollard pull of over 100 tonnes. The RT Raven has been specifically designed to meet the field’s distinct marine service requirements that include tanker berthing and operations support, including emergency response.

For years on end, Kotug has been proving its competences across a range of global projects, which has turned the company into a sought-after partner. One of its recent signature programmes was completed in May 2017 when Kotug’s offshore division successfully assisted Allseas with the transfer and transport of Shell’s Brent Delta topsides after the removal of the structure by Pioneering Spirit. Kotug’s involvement in the scheme mainly covered the assistance of the cargo barge Iron Lady during the transfer of the topsides from the Pioneering Spirit to the Iron Lady, and the ensuing tow of the barge to the Able UK decommissioning yard in Teeside. To implement the transfer, Kotug operated and oversaw four harbour tugs, which took over the Iron Lady, in order to bring it under the Brent Delta platform, in the slot of Pioneering Spirit. In the next stage, the same four harbour tugs towed the Iron Lady, carrying the topsides out of the slot of the Pioneering Spirit into the river Tees. For the final part of the journey, Kotug and Allseas deployed two Rotortugs and two ASD tugs, so that a maximum redundancy and manoeuvrability could be created in the tug configuration, due to the narrow and tidal restricted entrance channel to the decommissioning yard.

As it was established earlier, Kotug places considerable emphasis on being an innovator, and the latest example of this strategy is the development of PortX, in tandem with Marana. Under the name PortX, the joint venture was set up with the mission to deliver optimisation solutions for in-port vessel operations. Believed to be a game changer for the global nautical services industry, OptiPort (Optiport being the name of the application) has the potential to markedly improve dispatch operations and bring autonomous sailing of tugs and bunker vessels one step closer. It is also capable of optimising the costs of utilising nautical assets, based on the applicable work schedule, weather and tide influence, and crewing schedules. Alongside planning capabilities, OptiPort features a cloud-based solution of assistance reporting and analytics, founded on the latest developments in machine learning, data science, and data analytics.

By seeking to build fruitful business relationships, Kotug opens up new paths for its own development, as these enable the Dutch company to explore and advance new technologies that strengthen not just its own offering, but also work for the benefit of the entire maritime industry.


Services: Terminal towage, harbour towage, offshore and salvage support, chartering