JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore mining company Fortescue Metals has appointed Kotug Australia as its towage services operator for the port of Port Hedland.
The new contract, which was awarded following a competitive tender process, will see Kotug supply an additional three tug boats to complement Fortescue’s six new ART 85-32W tugs.
Fortescue, which was awarded a tugboat licence at Port Hedland in May last year, plans to have nine tugs in operation by 2019. The entry of Fortescue in the towage market in Port Hedland will break BHP’s reign as the only towage provider for the port.
Fortescue previously reported that it will spend A$200-million building the infrastructure needed for the tugs to operate.
Kotug has appointed local towage service provider Westug as its key subcontractor to manage operations in Port Hedland.