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Large cargo ships traverse the oceans of the world, carrying raw materials and finished goods between ports. Built for speed on the open ocean, these massive ships can take up to five miles to stop. Once these mammoth vessels arrive in port, they need help to maneuver in tight quarters, which is where ship-docking tugs go to work.

2018 saw maritime trade at an all-time high, with volumes reaching 11 billion tons.  This meant that more cargo ships were calling on ports around the world, including Takoradi in Ghana. This increase leads the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority to determine they needed a new fleet of tugboats to safely maneuver ships in and out of their new and expanded ports.

To fulfill this need for new tugboats, they called on the world-class design of Robert Allan LTD, the ship-building expertise of the Tor Group, and the reliable power of Cummins. This resulted in the first application of the Cummins QSK95 engine in tugs.

Each of the new tugs is 32.8 by 12.9-meters with a depth of 5.37 meters. Two Cummins QSK95 diesel marine engines provide the propulsion power, each delivering 3,600 BHP (2,685 kW) at 1,700 RPM for a total of 7,200 BHP per vessel. The Cummins QSK95 engines each power a Rolls Royce US2555 P30 FP azimuth thruster, which provide not only exceptional maneuverability and speeds up to 13 knots but also a minimum of 80-ton bollard pull.

Commander Stephen Abane Ayeo of GPHA said, “We know Cummins engines. They are durable, economical and strong, and provide good maintenance support. We’ve been a partner for over 30 years.”

Besides propulsion, a pair of Cummins QSB7-powered generators producing 170 Kva kW 136 kWe at 1500 RPM 50 Hz provide electrical power to the tugs and a QSK38 1595 BHP (1190 kW) variable speed at 1800 RPM powers a dedicated fire pump engine.

The tugs underwent their sea trials and bollard pull tests in Turkey and arrived in Ghana at the end of January. They are classed for unrestricted navigation by Bureau Veritas with the FiFi1 fire-fighting notation. Tankage for fuel is 180.5 cubic meters, for water 35.8 m3 and for lube oil 2.2 m3. Other applications of the Cummins marine QSK95 engines include crew boats like SEACOR Panther and passenger ferries like the Kilimanjaro VII.