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Wilson Sons starts operating a new, more sustainable tugboat in the Port of Açu

Wilson Sons: tugboat "WS Rosalvo" in the Port of Açu, located in the north of the state of Rio de Janeiro

Posted on May 8, 2023

Wilson Sons, a leader in port and maritime logistics in Brazil, started operating its new tugboat “WS Rosalvo” — equipped with more sustainable technologies — in the Port of Açu, in São João da Barra (Rio de Janeiro). An event held on Thursday, April 27th, at the port, marked the start of the operation of the third of six new, more sustainable tugs built at the company’s shipyards in Guarujá (São Paulo), in the Port of Santos, Latin America’s leading port facility.

The new hydrodynamic design improves hull efficiency and consumes up to 14% less fuel, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The tugboats are the first in Brazil to meet Tier III of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which attests to the reduction of at least 70% of nitrogen oxide, helping to improve the air quality in the ports where they operate. This standard is only required in emission controlled areas, such as in some regions of North America and Europe, and has been voluntarily adopted by Wilson Sons.

“WS Rosalvo” is a RSD 2513 escort tug and has FIFI-1-certified fire-fighting equipment with 2,400 m³ flow rate per hour. It is designed by Damen Shipyards and is 24 metres in length and 13 metres beam (width). It operates fore and aft with the same efficiency, and can be used in both port manoeuvres as well as offshore towage. Bollard pull is over 90 tons, making the new tug the most powerful and sustainable in operation in Brazil, along with “WS Centaurus” and “WS Orion”.

“WS Rosalvo” has the same characteristics as “WS Centaurus” and “WS Orion”, and joins the company’s fleet of 81 tugboats, the largest and most modern in Brazil. The first two new tugboats, which started operating in July and October last year, have executed around 650 manoeuvres. With the delivery of “WS Rosalvo”, Wilson Sons reached the mark of 151 vessels built in its shipyards. All these tugboats were built with financial support from the Merchant Marine Fund (FMM), and with the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) as a financial agent.

“WS Rosalvo” demonstrates the importance of innovation and sustainability for Wilson Sons, reaffirming the company’s trail-blazing spirit in the Brazilian industry, with modern tugboat building and operation projects, which are increasingly needed to meet the growing port demand for more powerful tugs to attend large ships more sustainably,” says Wilson Sons executive director of Towage Márcio Castro.

The collaboration between Wilson Sons and Porto do Açu, further strengthened with the arrival of “WS Rosalvo”, also reflects the operating collaboration relationship between the companies, which began in 2016, in addition to the foundation, in 2022, of Cubo Maritime & Port, the first innovation hub dedicated to port and maritime solutions in Latin America. The hub is a collaborative arrangement of Wilson Sons with Cubo Itaú, Port of Açu, Hidrovias do Brasil and Radix, to integrate the different parts of the ecosystem and speed up innovation in Latin America’s port and maritime industry.

“Wilson Sons is a great partner of the Port of Açu, both in operations as well as in maritime and port innovation. We have been together since the start of operations of the Port of Açu, at the Cubo Itaú hub, in São Paulo, and at Blue Rio, a collaborative blue economy program in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Since 2016, the company has been operating in the port industry, providing first-class services. To us, it is also very important to pay tribute to Rosalvo, a former crew member here in Açu, whose name baptises the new WS tugboat,” says Vinícius Patel, Director of Port Administration at Port of Açu.

“We strive to understand our clients’ needs to optimise their port operations by building upon Wilson Sons’ expertise and also the technology of our tugboats. The Port of Açu is a strategic partner for our company. With “WS Rosalvo”, we intend to add value and increase the productivity of operations, in a market that demands an increasing number of sustainable projects,” says Elísio Dourado, Commercial director of Towage at Wilson Sons.

Through its business units, Wilson Sons Group participates in the operation of more than 50% of all ships berthing in Brazilian ports, whether coming from abroad or from some location on our coast, by cabotage shipping. For more than one decade, all company vessels have been remotely monitored 24×7 by its Towage Operation Centre based in Santos, ensuring safer, more efficient and more sustainable operations. Wilson Sons is a pioneer in speed control to reduce fuel consumption. Through the Towage Operation Centre, the company estimates a 5% drop in fuel consumption and, consequently, in GHG emissions.

“We ensure the best operating and socio-environmental practices in our operations to reaffirm our commitment to reducing emissions. The three new, more sustainable tugboats are the first in the harbour towage industry in Brazil to voluntarily meet the International Maritime Organisation’s shipping pollution prevention guidelines, bringing unprecedented efficiency standards to the country. We play an important role in the socio-economic development of Brazil by executing our strategy towards an increasingly more sustainable future,” said Wilson Sons Sustainability director Monica Jaén.


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