A Damen-made tug similar to Taiaroa, which is on its delivery voyage to Port Otago. Photo supplied.
Port Otago's new $11 million tug Taiaroa is about
halfway on its delivery voyage from Vietnam and is due to
arrive in Port Chalmers later this month.
Taiaroa's elderly predecessors, Rangi and
Karetai, could could see out their days at a Pacific
Island port. Taiaroa was built in Da Nang by
Netherlands-based Damen Group, which has a specialist
four-person delivery crew on board, Port Otago chief
executive Geoff Plunket said yesterday.
The 24.5m long, 250 tonne Taiaroa was expected to take
about 30 days to get to Port Chalmers and had just passed
Papua New Guinea. It was not in range of ship-tracking
technology at present and had been hit by poor weather this
week and slowed, he said.
''She'll be welcomed in appropriate maritime style,'' Mr
Plunket said. Taiaroa was the 63rd of its type
launched by Damen and one of four so far delivered to New
Port Otago's Dunedin-built Karetai and Rangi
have been for sale for some time and Mr Plunket said the
company was in negotiation with one potential buyer for both
He said they were in ''excellent condition and had been well
maintained''. The potential buyer was undertaking due
diligence on the vessels but negotiations had not yet
progressed to a contractual stage, he said.
Mr Plunket said the tugs could be attractive to a small port
in Australia or a Pacific Island nation that had only a small
number of monthly ship visits.
Port Otago's present tug, Otago, arrived in April
2003, having been built in Whangarei for about $7 million.
Its predecessor, also Otago, was scuttled in 1500m of
water off the Coromandel coast in March 2000. The 44m, 1956
Scotland-built steam-driven tug was sold to Auckland
interests in the early 1980s before becoming derelict and