New Pusher Tugs for Hidrovias do Brasil
Hidrovias do Brasil S.A. has started operating two new pusher tugs custom-designed by Vancouver, Canada based Robert Allan Ltd, pushing barges containing bulk products along the Amazon River system. This HB PIRARARA shallow-draft pusher tug and sister vessel HB PIRARUCU have a Robert allan RApide 4000-Z3 tug design and were constructed by Estaleiro Rio Maguari in Belem, Brazil.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations were used in the early phases of the design work to optimize the hull shapes and minimize total convoy resistance, and the Z-drives fitted in customized tunnels designed to optimize flow and propulsion efficiency while reducing draft. This resulted in a reduced overall cost of transportation and increased safety standards in safety, maneuverability and comfort, stated Robert Allan.
The vessels meet ABS and Brazilian Flag State (NORMAM-02/DPC) requirements with crew comfort and safety in mind, the wheelhouse providing maximum all-round visibility with a split forward control station for unobstructed vision to the foredeck working area as well as to the convoy of barges ahead. The design accommodates up to 17 people with a large galley and mess on the main deck. The deckhouse extends aft over the machinery space and the main propulsion equipment is comprised of three Wärtsilä 8L20 Main Engines capable of operating on HFO connected to Schottel SRP 1215 Z-Drive units. Two Caterpillar C18 Diesel Gen-Sets are fitted in the tugs’ main machinery space at the main deck level, and the vessels also carry an additional emergency/harbor gen-set.
Each pusher tug can push convoys of 25 barges, each with a deadweight of more than 2,000 tonnes, enabling them to transport the equivalent of about 1,000 double-trailer trucks in a single convoy.