Wilson Sons has carried out more than 500 manoeuvres with “WS Centaurus”, Brazil’s first tug equipped with more sustainable technologies

  • 29/06/2023
  • 7 minutes

In the first year of its operation, this tug, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions
with less fuel consumption by up to 14%, operates in São Luís assisting in the manoeuvres of large ships

This month, Brazil’s leader in port and maritime logistics Wilson Sons has
completed the first year of operation of the tugboat “WS Centaurus”, a pioneer in
Brazil in the use of more sustainable technologies. Over 500 manoeuvres have
been carried out by “WS Centaurus” in assisting berthing and unberthing
operations at the Ponta da Madeira, Itaqui and Alumar terminal facilities in São
Luís (state of Maranhão), attending large vessels transporting up to 400,000 tons
of cargo.

In Ponta da Madeira, “WS Centaurus” manoeuvres ships carrying iron ore. In the
port of Itaqui, the tug attends different types of vessels with different types of cargo
such as diesel, corn, soy, fertilisers and wood pulp.

The first of a range of six new, more sustainable tugs, “WS Centaurus” was built at
the company’s shipyards in Guarujá (São Paulo), in the Port of Santos. Its Damen
Shipyards (RSD 2513) hydrodynamic design improves hull efficiency and
consumes up to 14% less fossil fuel, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The
twin fins improve seaworthiness and increase drag capacity in manoeuvres, which
ensures reduced fuel consumption and, consequently, lower emissions.

Besides, the tug is the first in Brazil to follow the International Maritime
Organization TIER III standard, which promotes reduced nitrogen oxide emissions
by more than 75%, and helps improve air quality in the ports. This standard is
required in some regions of North America and Europe. “‘WS Centaurus” is a
milestone in Brazil’s towing operations. The tugboat, along with “WS Orion”,
launched in October last year, has been helping to add efficiency and sustainability
to the company’s fleet of 11 tugboats operating in São Luís. The demand for
powerful tugboats has been growing in ports throughout Brazil due to the large
ships berthing at these terminals, such as Ponta da Madeira, to handle iron ore,
and 360-metre LOA container vessels operating in Brazilian waters,” says Márcio
Castro, executive director of Towage Operations at Wilson Sons.

With more than 90 tons of bollard pull, Wilson Sons new 25-metre long, 13-metre
wide tugs have fire-fighting certification (Fi-Fi 1), and are the most powerful
tugboats operating in Brazil. It operates fore and aft with the same efficiency, and
can be used in both port manoeuvres as well as in deep-sea towage.

The company has its own Tugboat Operation Centre (COR) in Santos (São Paulo),
which provides real-time monitoring of the 81 tugboats along the Brazilian coast,
establishing the best time to put the tugs in motion at an optimal speed to ensure
greater diesel oil consumption efficiency and, consequently, reduced greenhouse
gas emissions. Wilson Sons is a pioneer in speed control to reduce fuel

The company estimates that the operation centre promotes a 5% drop in fuel
consumption and, consequently, in gas emissions. The COR centre monitors
operations for greater navigational safety, avoiding areas with shallow depth or
obstacles, thus ensuring higher vessel availability.

“The objective of our sustainability strategies is to enhance our ESG agenda. We
see technology as a supporter of port and maritime infrastructure and industry
sustainability by delivering improved operations, greater energy efficiency and
higher productivity levels. Our ambition is to reduce the carbon footprint of our
operations and value chains, boost innovation, invest in strategies, and unlock
solutions to support the climate agenda, considering energy efficiency,” says
Sustainability Director Monica Jaén.

Wilson Sons Northern regional manager Mateus Melo believes that “WS
Centaurus” and “WS Orion” demonstrate the importance of the company’s
operations in the North of Brazil, especially those involving Vale vessels in Ponta
da Madeira.

“Due to our strategic position and performance in the region, with a fleet of tugboats
planned to keep up with the development of the ports in Arco Norte, we have served
Vale for over 35 years, in efficient and safe operations in Ponta da Madeira. As
ships grew larger, we have delivered safer and more powerful tugs to keep up.
Today, Wilson Sons is the company with the greatest availability of tugboats and
the widest range of services in the ports of Arco Norte,” Mateus explains.

About Wilson Sons
Wilson Sons is the largest port-shipping logistics operator in Brazil, with over 185
years of experience. The company operates across Brazil and offers complete
solutions to more than 5,000 clients, including shipowners, importers and
exporters, the offshore energy industry, renewable energy projects, agribusiness
corporations, and other players in different businesses.

Press Relations
Danthi Comunicação Integrada

Gustavo Villela — [email protected] / +55 21 99124 5158
Sérgio Costa — [email protected] / +55 21 99145 3644

Download file
(217.12 kb)