At the beginning of the XX century there were about one hundred steam tugboats working in the Riga port. There was enough work for everybody as many ships entered the Riga port and the turnover of goods at the port was constantly growing. Over a hundred years the possibilities of port tugboats increased considerably and at present only some tugboats are needed to meet needs of the port.
At the beginning of the XXI century the tugboat fleet of the Riga port had become outdated and new tugboats were to be built with a considerably more extensive functionality to further develop the port operation.
According to the terms of reference powerful ice class tugboats were to be built that would be capable of manoeuvre. They were to be equipped with fire extinguishing devices and equipment for collecting petroleum and oil from the water surface. The project was supported by the Riga City Council.
Design documentation for the new tugboats was developed by the Ukrainian company “Tarola” from the city of Nikolajev. The tugboats were named “Santa” and “Stella”.
Construction was started in 2006. The tugboats were built in a dock as hulls could not be placed on the slipways due to the construction peculiarities of the underwater thrusters.
The length of the tugboat is 34.2 m, width – 12.7 m, draft – 3.9 m, displacement – 445 t, speed – 13.2 knots, speed in 0.7 m thick ice – 2-5 knots. Ice class – 1A.
The tugboats were equipped with two main Caterpillar 3516D engines with the total capacity of 3650 kW (5 000 hp). The engines drive two RollsRoyce azimuthal propellers with the screw diameter of 2.6 m (screw- steering wheel column) through transmission.
For rescue operations tugboats were equipped with powerful fire fighting equipment – two water cannons with 1 500 m3/h capacity each and fire monitors. Foamers can also be used in the fire fighting system.
If required for the collection of petroleum from the water surface, tugboats can be equipped with special-purpose equipment.
The tugboats were delivered to the customer in 2008 and they are still in operation at the Riga port.