Construction underway for new Newcastle Maritime Training Centre

Civil construction has started on a new training simulator building at Svitzer Australia’s Port of Newcastle tug base, which will deliver enhanced maritime training capabilities to the East Coast of NSW.

Svitzer, a global leader in maritime services, is investing in state-of-the-art Kongsberg Digital maritime simulators in support of crew training and other marine applications.

The start of construction signals the next major milestone toward delivering a training centre of excellence for the deployment of Svitzer’s innovative, new TRAnsverse tug vessels – forecast to enter service in Newcastle in 2025 (the second and third to be deployed in the world).

Svitzer Australia Chief Operating Officer, David Phillips, said the new simulator and training facilities were a demonstration of Svitzer’s ongoing investment into world-class towage and maritime infrastructure across Australia and commitment to upskilling and training Australian seafarers.  

”We are excited to see construction underway for a facility that will provide the latest and most advanced maritime training and technology for pilots, tug masters, and other vessels.

”As the country’s largest private employer of Australian seafarers, we recognise the important role we play in maritime skill development and using the next generation of technology to train and upskill the next generation of seafarer,” Mr Phillips said.

“There will be further opportunities to connect the simulator in Newcastle with other simulators around Australia and the world, pioneering Pilot/Master integrated training, as well as several other training and familiarisation needs. This includes applications such as emergency response training and for emerging industries such as offshore wind development and beyond.”

Local builders and contractors are being engaged to deliver the construction project in Newcastle, including for design, civil and electrical works.

Svitzer has also made its first staffing appointment for the facility with experienced Newcastle Master, Ben Holder, coming on-shore as Training Master for the facility.

Ben will act as a key leader in the introduction of the new TRAnsverse tug, including supporting familiarisation and training needs, and helping Svitzer maximise the capabilities of the Simulator and tug.

Svitzer will provide further information regarding the build completion and opening for the Simulator facility in coming months, and opportunities for shared training and familiarisation.

Svitzer Australia Welcomes New CCO

Svitzer Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Veronica Jensen as its new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for the Australia/PNG region.

Ms Jensen brings deep commercial leadership experience across a range of industry sectors including industrial consumables, engineering solutions, the pharmaceutical industry and in shipping with more than 11 years’ previous experience with Maersk.

In welcoming Ms Jensen to the role, Svitzer Australia Managing Director Videlina Georgieva said:

“Veronica brings a strong external lens and passion for customers. With a focus on performance and an expertise in establishing the right commercial excellence, customer relationship and pricing strategies, we look forward to Veronica further strengthening the value proposition and positive impact Svitzer brings to our customers and stakeholders.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Veronica’s calibre to be joining and complementing our leadership team and I look forward to her experience supporting the success of our customers,” Ms Georgieva said.

Ms Jensen said: “I am excited to be returning to the maritime industry – a sector for which I have never lost my strong passion for. I am joining Svitzer at a time of great potential and change and looking forward to working closely with our customers on creating value and growth.”

Ms Jensen started in the role this month (March 2024) and is based out of Svitzer Australia’s Sydney head office.

Veronica Jensen: Chief Commercial Officer – Svitzer Australia

Kongsberg Digital Selected to Deliver World-Class Simulation Capability

Horten, Norway/ Sydney, Australia, 6 November 2023 – Global leader in sustainable marine services, Svitzer , has selected Kongsberg Digital to deliver state-of-the-art simulators in support of crew training at its Port of Newcastle base in Australia.

The contract with Kongsberg will help create a training centre of excellence for  the deployment of Svitzer’s innovative, new TRAnsverse tug vessels; entering service in Newcastle in early 2025.

The new simulator and training facilities reflect  Svitzer’s ongoing investment into world-class towage infrastructure across Australia, and commitment to upskilling future generations of Australian seafarer. The contract with Kongsberg comprises the delivery of a innovative training suite in Q2 2024. Notably, the delivery encompasses a full-mission 360° K-Sim Navigation simulator configured as a tug bridge, and a part-task 180° K-Sim Navigation ship’s bridge simulator. It also includes an advanced Instructor System with a CCTV system for monitoring and debriefing, comprehensive training of the Instructors, and a robust warranty for the entire system.

Designed for Svitzer’s Tug Master training on multiple vessels including the new TRAnsverse Tug, this state-of-the-art simulator suite will be installed at their operations facility in Newcastle. Not only will it serve the training needs of harbor pilots and tug masters from Newcastle port, but it will also cater to professionals worldwide.

David Phillips, Chief Operating Officer, Svitzer Australia, said:  “We are committed to investing in safe, reliable and efficient maritime solutions and to providing the latest and most advanced training and technology for pilots, tug masters and other maritime professionals.

“Kongsberg Digital met all our criteria in terms of quality, price, delivery time, support, and warranty. Their collaboration with AMC Launceston, which has modeled the Maersk/Robert Allan TRAnsverse Tug, brings added value and we are looking forward to working with them closely on this project and future opportunities.”

Peering into the future, there are further opportunities to connect the simulator in Newcastle with other Sims around Australia and the world, pioneering Pilot/Master integrated training across distant locations.

Are Føllesdal Tjønn, Managing Director of Maritime Simulation at Kongsberg Digital, expressed his enthusiasm: “Svitzer Australia represents a fresh partnership for Kongsberg Digital. Their drive to leverage integrated simulation training across extended distances showcases the potential for experts in diverse domains to collaboratively participate in a singular simulated exercise, enhancing realism and training efficacy.”

With these initiatives, the maritime sector is looking at a transformative phase in training and operations, setting higher standards for the industry globally.


A Passion for Towage History in Port Kembla

Port Kembla Master Tim Ryan has the privilege of living next to someone that is a treasure-trove of Australian towage history knowledge. So, it was only fitting to provide his neighbour with a tour of a modern tug, the Svitzer Ruby recently.

68-year-old Richard Flanagan’s passion stems from a family history in the industry, with his father, John James Flanagan, a former Master of the original Kiama – based in Port Kembla.

Richard is a walking encyclopedia of tug history, tug facts and more – so Tim took the opportunity to invite him down to the PK tug pen, as well as present him with a gift on behalf of the port.

Ever the expert – Richard reviewed the book: Heroic, Forceful and Fearless – and was quickly able to add some colour to some of the stories contained within. He may even have ‘fact-checked’ a couple of the details in print. 

Richard enjoyed his tour of the Ruby and the modern technology throughout the tugs of today compared to some of the vessels of the past.

He brought along a picture of the original Kiama, painted by one of the Stannards workers at the time, along with his father’s original Certificate of Competency as a Master.

Richard’s dad started out as a deckhand with Fenwick’s Towage Co in Sydney after working on the Manly Ferries – before working his way up, getting his certification and becoming a Tug Master for Wallace Tugs in Port Kembla.

Read more about Richard’s father’s history in his own words below.

Bio – John James Flanagan

My father John started working in the towage industry about 1959 as a deckhand for Fenwick’s Towage Co in Sydney, after working as deckhand on the Manly Ferries.

At the time all tugs in Australia was steam powered triple expansion engines and at the time all Fenwick tug names started with “H” e.g. Himma or Hero.

At the time Fenwick tugs in Sydney were tied up at #10 Walsh Bay.

In 1960 the 1st diesel tug in Australia the Sydney Cove was delivered. All Fenwick tugs have a Cove suffix.

Dad in the 60s worked as a deckhand and also sometimes did maintenance to tugs at Mort’s Dock in Balmain. Dad earned his Harbours & Rivers Certificate to become a Tug Master.

One time while working at the Mort’s Dock during this period, the pilot ship the Captain Cook was being scrapped near by, as she had a very ornate Figure Head, Dad offered to save it but one of people who was doing the scrapping just cut it into small pieces.

Around 1967 Dad was given the job of Tugs Master in Port Kembla for Wallace Tugs which was a 50:50 split between Fenwicks & Waratah’s Tugs. At the time there was 3 tugs in Port Kembla, one from Fenwick’s & two from Waratah’s, later the third transferred from Sydney was the Wallace tug Kurnell.

In 1972 Dad was master of the tug Kiama tied up on the eastern side of #4 Jetty astern of the tug Iron Cove. So after a contractor had done maintenance in the engine room & when he finished he left engine in gear & the controllable pitch propeller in full forward so when the engineer started the engine Kiama lurched forward snapping lines & pushing Iron Cove onto the breakwater of small craft harbour. Dad being in offices mess said that he didn’t remember how he got up a vertical ladder & through a metre square hold to the wheelhouse.

Also about this time the 1st ship to require the use of 4 tugs, the Iron Somersby.

Dad worked as Master in Port Kembla till about 1986 on several tugs when he took ill, he died the next year.


Chief Commercial Officer Videlina Georgieva appointed new Managing Director – Australia to help drive regional growth and progress Svitzer’s decarbonisation agenda.

Copenhagen/Sydney, 9 August 2023: Svitzer, a leading global towage provider and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, has today announced changes to its Global Leadership Team.

Chief Commercial Officer Videlina Georgieva has been promoted to Managing Director of Svitzer Australia, replacing outgoing MD Nicolaj Noes who will be leaving Svitzer to take on a new opportunity.

Videlina Georgieva brings a deep understanding of Svitzer’s business and operations, including within Australia, where she has been part of delivering significant commercial results throughout her 13 years with Svitzer, and most recently as the organisation’s Global Chief Commercial Officer. She has already begun a planned handover process with Nicolaj Noes and will commence her new role effective early September.

Svitzer CEO Kasper Friis Nilaus congratulated Videlina Georgieva on her appointment and said it was fantastic to be able to appoint internally for the role, reflecting the strong leadership talent within Svitzer: “Based in Sydney and with her long tenure and strong track record, Videlina is excellently placed to continue driving Svitzer’s strategic focus in Australia and Papua New Guinea. This includes continuing to unlock value for our customers, for instance through partnering with them on their decarbonisation agendas. We are also bringing innovative new assets and towage infrastructure such as our revolutionary new TRAnsverse tug to the region, which will help drive the future of towage in Australia.

“I am excited by Videlina’s appointment and confident that she will drive our Australian region to further success.”

Kasper Nilaus also expressed his thanks to Nicolaj Noes for his leadership of Svitzer Australia over the last five years and to the wider Maersk group over the last 30 years.

“Nicolaj has led Svitzer through significant change during his tenure and is held in high regard by colleagues, customers and stakeholders alike for his leadership. He leaves the business in a strong position and with a talented, experienced team in place across the region.”

Speaking on her appointment, Videlina Georgieva, Svitzer’s new Managing Director – Australia, commented: “I am delighted to be back with the team at Svitzer Australia and to be taking on this role in such an important market for our business. There is clear opportunity to create further value with and for our customers and communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea. We have an exciting platform to drive innovative, sustainable marine services and decarbonisation in partnership with our customers. The team here in Australia has the passion, experience and skills to achieve this, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to lead them at this time.”

Svitzer is in the process of recruiting a permanent successor to Videlina Georgieva’s role of CCO, to be announced in due course.

Five new tugs to be chartered to Port Hedland

Sydney, 19 June 2023: Svitzer, a leading global towage provider and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, has signed an agreement for the delivery of five new RAstar 2800 tugs to service BHP’s Port Hedland (Western Australia) operations.

The new tugboats will be delivered from 1H 2024 and will operate on a long-term charter arrangement on a five-year term with a 5-year extension option, replacing older tugs as they are delivered into service.

The new tugs are a proven, high-specification tug that will enhance the capability of the existing fleet of 17 tugs at Port Hedland.  At an impressive 80T Bollard Pull and equipped with the Schottel SYDRIVE-M thrusters the tugs will deliver both power but also a reduced carbon emissions footprint as they are able to mobilise and demobilise on a single engine.  

Port Hedland is the largest iron ore loading port in the world and the largest bulk port (by tonnage throughput) in Australia.

“Svitzer is committed to delivering safe, reliable and efficient tugs meeting all operational criteria to service this very busy and complex towage operation in Port Hedland,” Managing Director Svitzer Australia, Nicolaj Noes said.

”We look forward to providing enhanced service quality to valued customers with the new tugs.”

The new Svitzer vessels offer greater fuel efficiency and will deliver CO2 emission savings over the charter term.

Svitzer also provides exclusive commercial representation on behalf of BHP to customers seeking to utilise BHP’s towage services in Port Hedland.

About the RAStar 2800

  • Bollard pull: 80 tonne
  • Class 1 Firefighting capability
  • Thrusters: Schottel SYDrive-M
  • Power: 4,700kw
  • Speed: 13 knots
  • Length: 28m

National Towage EA Update

Outcome of National Towage EA Ballot

Svitzer can advise its customers and stakeholders that a majority of colleagues have voted in favour of the 2023 National Towage Enterprise Agreement (63% Yes).

The proposed new Agreement will now be lodged with the Fair Work Commission for approval.

Svitzer would like to acknowledge and thank colleagues, customers and stakeholders for their patience and support during the bargaining period.

We would also like to acknowledge the Fair Work Commission for its assistance throughout negotiations.

National Towage EA Update

In-principle Agreement reached for new National Towage EA

Svitzer can advise its customers and stakeholders that it has reached an in-principle agreement with the three maritime unions for a proposed, new National Towage Enterprise Agreement and we are now preparing for a vote on that agreement.

Our focus right now is to inform our colleagues covered by the agreement and and the certainty and benefits it provides.

Svitzer has made a fair offer – and our hope is that this is reflected in a favourable vote.

The ballot opens on Thursday  8 June and closes on Saturday 10 June. Svitzer will advise of the outcomes of the vote as soon as it is available and appropriate to do so.

Please note that protected industrial action is not possible with an in-principle agreement in place and voting period to commence.

We remain committed to delivering safe, reliable and efficient harbour towage infrastructure and delivering the best possible service to our customers.

Svitzer thanks customers for its patience during this period.

We would also like to acknowledge the Fair Work Commission for its assistance during negotiations.

International Day for Women in Maritime

Today, 18 May 2023, is International Day for Women in Maritime – a day where we celebrate women in the industry and raise the profile of women in maritime, as well as strengthen IMO’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) and support the work to address the current gender imbalance in the sector.

At Svitzer we are determined to change the conversation and perceptions around women in the maritime industry.

We are proud of the diversity within our workforce and see it as a genuine source of strength for building high-performing teams.

This International Day for Women in Maritime, it is important that as an industry we recognise and address the barriers that prevent women from joining and growing in the maritime industry – and that we take action to confront our own unconscious (and conscious) biases to address current gender imbalance.

Check out the International Maritime Organization video below, highlighting some of our incredible mariners. As this plays at events around the globe today, there is no doubt it shows that women in maritime CAN.

New TRAnsverse tugs for Australia

Contract signed with Uzmar to deliver new, state-of-the-art, TRAnsverse tugs with superior operating capability and fuel efficiency, following design collaboration between Robert Allan and Svitzer.

Copenhagen/Sydney, 15 May 2023: Svitzer, a leading global towage provider and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, has today announced it has awarded a contract to Uzmar Shipyard to build two new TRAnsverse tugs for its Australian business.  

The TRAnsverse tugs are a revolutionary tug design, created in collaboration with Robert Allan Ltd, which set a new standard in tug efficiency, power and manoeuvrability, and deliver an estimated 10-15% reduction in fuel use compared to other tugs on the market. The new tugs will be built to a specification that also enables biofuel operations bringing tank-to-wake carbon emissions to zero.  

The TRAnsverse tug’s omnidirectional hull form, in combination with its unique towing staple and propulsion system, provides towage capabilities that are unmatched by other tug designs. Its design enables it to maximise the forces necessary for braking and steerage during towage, as it manoeuvres steadily in the water, and consequently without compromising safety, even at full speed range. It maintains position with lower propeller input power than tug designs where the thrusters are mounted side by side, and overall brings a significant increase in stability and freedom of movement. 

As a result of these features, the TRAnsverse tug meets the full range of complex harbour and terminal towage environments, providing benefits such as the ability to reduce overall time of tug jobs, greater availability in poor weather conditions, reduced emissions and enhanced safety.  

The two new tugs will be deployed to Svitzer Australia’s Port of Newcastle (NSW) operations in 2025 becoming the first TRAnsverse tugs to be deployed to Australia, and only the second and third to be deployed globally. The Port of Newcastle is a busy, diverse port operation with a complex harbour, tidal restrictions and channel environment requiring active escort towage, and direct and indirect towage capabilities. Newcastle sees a range of vessels calling from capsize vessels carrying coal, to bulk, container and cruise ships. The complexity of Newcastle’s towage operations and range of vessels that call on the port will showcase the full range of the TRAnsverse tug’s capabilities. 

Svitzer CEO Kasper Friis Nilaus commented: “We have been listening closely to our customers and their need for innovative towage solutions. The TRAnsverse tug offers significant improvements in operational efficiency, flexibility and sustainability by improving shipping turnaround times and reducing carbon emissions, helping customers to manage the demands of the modern towage market and the complex, busy port environments of today and the future.” 

“The scale of Svitzer’s operations, collaboration with customers and deep understanding of port operations globally enables us to design and invest in the best possible towage solutions. We are committed to building new tugs that meet the highest of efficiency standards and that support our customers and port operations in reducing their scope 3 emissions and total carbon footprint, whilst not compromising – and indeed improving – on safety and operational performance.”  

From Sea to SALT – New GM West

Svitzer Australia has internally appointed Tully Barnes to be the new General Manager – West.

Tully is a great sea to shore to senior leadership story – after a career in the Royal Australian Navy, Tully started with Svitzer nearly ten years ago.

Tully has most recently been Darwin Port Manager and Head of Defence Projects. 

“Tully’s a great example that there truly are a variety of career paths one can take within the business – from any part of the business – and the incredible value brought to the role that a technical and multi-functional background brings,” Svitzer Australia MD Nicolaj Noes said.

“I am confident under Tully’s leadership our strong team in the West will continue to deliver and support our harbour and terminal towage customers and port stakeholders in achieving their port and shipping safety, efficiency and sustainability goals.

“It is great to be able to draw on our internal talent to appoint to this important role within our Australian leadership team, and Tully’s existing knowledge of the business ensures a high level of understanding and continuity to meet our valued customers’ needs.”

In the role, Tully has responsibility for all Svitzer harbour and terminal port operations in Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Papua New Guinea and joins Svitzer’s Senior Australian Leadership Team (SALT).

Tully Barnes

Green methanol MoU signed with Melbourne port

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Port of Melbourne, Maersk, ANL (a subsidiary of CMA-CGM), Svitzer, Stolthaven Terminals, HAMR Energy and ABEL Energy to explore the commercial feasibility of establishing a green methanol bunkering hub at the Port of Melbourne.

The collaboration will examine a potential project involving the transportation of green methanol from production sites in Bell Bay, Tasmania (ABEL Energy) and Portland, Victoria (HAMR Energy) to Port of Melbourne for storage and bunkering services.

The MoU provides a starting point for the parties to work together to explore the various elements of establishing a green methanol bunkering hub, and identify any challenges that would need to be addressed.  

Together, Port of Melbourne, Maersk, ANL (a subsidiary of CMA-CGM), Svitzer, Stolthaven Terminals, HAMR Energy and ABEL Energy bring a wealth of expertise and experience in the shipping and energy industries, making them ideal partners for this initiative.

Comment attributable to Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio:

“Victoria has the most ambitious decarbonisation agenda in the country, and this announcement is another example of how we’re leading the development of renewable and alternative fuels,” said Minister D’Ambrosio.

Comment attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne:

“We’re driving the biggest ports reform program in decades through our Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy and this announcement complements our work to protect the future of our commercial ports, which includes the Port of Melbourne as a hub for trade and to ensure it remains one of the biggest and best ports in the country,” said Minister Horne.  

Comment attributable to Port of Melbourne CEO, Saul Cannon:

“Decarbonisation of the maritime industry is really gaining pace. As Australia’s largest container port with around 3,000 ships visiting annually, it makes sense that we look at ways to work together with customers, service providers and producers to understand the needs of the market,” Mr Cannon said.

Comment attributable to Maersk Regional Head of Market, Oceania, My Therese Blank:

“Maersk has already ordered container vessels that will be operated on green methanol, which is a proven solution for reducing the shipping industry’s carbon emissions and mitigating its impact on the environment. As an island nation with high dependency on ocean transport, it’s vital that Australia takes a leadership role to enable the fuel transformation from fossil to green fuel,” Ms Blank said.

Comment attributable to ANL Managing Director, Shane Walden:

“Alternative energies are key to the reduction of carbon emissions throughout the supply chain. Green Methanol presents another excellent opportunity for the shipping industry to decarbonise and we are supportive of the robust exploration of a bunkering hub such as this,” Mr Walden said.    

Comment attributable to Svitzer Global Head of Green Ports, Ivan Spanjic:

“It is through a partnership approach that we will best meet the future decarbonisation challenges facing the wider shipping industry. Svitzer welcomes the MOU as an important step to driving greener shipping solutions in Australia,” Mr Spanjic said.

Comment attributable to Stolthaven Terminals General Manager, Ben Serong:

“Stolthaven Terminals is pleased to support this project – as well as many others worldwide – that enable the transition to greener energy alternatives. The scope of activities involved under this MoU will evolve as the collaboration progresses and the parties develop a clearer understanding of how our respective expertise can be combined on this potential project,” Mr Serong said.

Comment attributable to HAMR Energy Director and Company Secretary, David Stribley:

“HAMR Energy is developing a world-class green methanol facility in Portland, Victoria to accelerate shipping industry decarbonisation which will rely entirely on natural and renewable resources available in Australia,” Mr Stribley said.

Comment attributable to ABEL Energy CEO, Michael van Baarle:

“ABEL Energy’s first Australian green hydrogen and methanol project will be built at the port of Bell Bay, using Tasmania’s renewable hydro and wind-based power supply,” Mr van Baarle said.

Maersk Stralsund PoM Marh 2023

National Towage EA Update

Over the past four months Svitzer has been bargaining exhaustively with the three maritime unions along with the assistance of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

Unfortunately, despite significant efforts by Svitzer to reach a compromise we have not yet reached an agreement.

However, Svitzer can advise that in further efforts to try reach a deal, on Friday (14 April 2023) Svitzer agreed to withdraw its application to terminate the Enterprise Agreement.

Svitzer and the unions will now continue to bargain in good faith, with the ongoing assistance of the FWC, until the 31st of May 2023. The parties have also agreed to not undertake any industrial action during this period.

We appreciate there is a high level of interest in this matter and thank valued customers and stakeholders for their ongoing patience and understanding.

Our focus remains on reaching a new, fair agreement and industrial stability that helps:

  • Improve safety, reliability and efficiency of shipping operations
  • Improve the productivity of the national supply chain
  • Improve the diversity and development opportunities for current and new workforce within the maritime sector
  • Improve Svitzer’s competitiveness.

Svitzer will continue to provide updates on this matter.

Svitzer Australia Announces New Senior Appointments

New General Manager – East and Deputy Chief Commercial Officer appointed as Svitzer grows its value offerings for Australian customers.

Svitzer Australia has today announced two new internal senior appointments.

Dylan Sheehan has been appointed the new General Manager – East and Shafaq Rahman has been promoted to Deputy Chief Commercial Officer (Australia).

As General Manager – East, Mr Sheehan is responsible for Svitzer’s towage and marine services operations at 14 ports along Australia’s east coast in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Mr Sheehan brings a wealth of experience to the role and has worked at Svitzer in regions worldwide, commencing with Svitzer as a Commercial Manager in Canada in 2013 and was most recently Regional Manager – North West (Australia).

“From my time in Svitzer, I have witnessed first-hand the expertise and capability of our crews and shore-team to deliver a best-in-class service offering. I am eager to work collaboratively with our customers to achieve their safety, efficiency and sustainability goals.” Mr Sheehan said.

“At Svitzer we pride ourselves on being a trusted towage and marine solutions partner. With our growing digital and decarbonisation offering, it is a very exciting time to be stepping into the role.”

Mrs Rahman has been appointed Deputy Chief Commercial Officer, recognising her outstanding performance in driving business growth and her deep understanding of customer needs.

With Svitzer for nearly three years, Mrs Rahman leads business development and strategic projects, and steps into a wider commercial mandate as D/CCO. She brings more than 20 years of experience, including extensive background in the oil and gas industry.

“Svitzer is unique in that we offer global scale and expertise but also deep local knowledge and experience right across Australian ports, communities and industry sectors,” Mrs Rahman said.

“I’m looking forward to working closely with our customers to develop solutions that grow and enhance their business – particularly the opportunity to partner with ports and the wider shipping industry to achieve their decarbonisation ambitions.”

Svitzer Australia Managing Director Nicolaj Noes said it was fantastic to be able to appoint internally for the senior roles, demonstrating the depth of internal talent at the company.

“Dylan and Shafaq will play important roles in helping us drive further value for our customers and I’m delighted that we have been able to appoint two experienced, passionate people from within.”

Dylan Sheehan
Mrs Shafaq Rahman - Deputy Chief Commercial Officer - Svitzer Australia
Shafaq Rahman

Mr Sheehan will report to Mr Noes and replaces Deniz Kirdar True, who was recently appointed Managing Director of Svitzer’s Africa, Middle East and Asia (AMEA) region.

Mrs Rahman continues to report to Ivan Spanjic, Chief Commercial Officer – Australia.

Svitzer Supports PNG Youth

Svitzer PNG Ltd has recently supported the Buria Rugby League from Lealea Village to compete in the Annual Southern Nines tournament held in Port Moresby.

Svitzer PNG Ltd supplied rugby shirts for the full team.

The Buria Rugby League was formed to provide education and training through sport to youths, also instilling respect for authority and working as a team for young villagers who do not have access to educational support.

The team did very well in the tournament and went on to win the trophy after several rounds, quarter finals, semi-finals and then the final!

Svitzer PNG were glad to help a worthwhile local cause and wishes the team the best of luck in the future.

Bunbury Welcomes New Tugs

The Bunbury (WA) community helped officially name two of its port’s newest arrivals on Tuesday 6 December.

The Svitzer Koombana and Svitzer Marlston received a traditional maritime naming ceremony, blessing the tugs into the Svitzer fleet and to their new home, the Port of Bunbury.

Attended by local dignitaries including the Southern Ports Authority, customers, agents, community stakeholders, employees and Svitzer’s local hardworking crew – the new vessels were welcomed with local flair.

Deputy Mayor of Bunbury City Council and member of Bunbury Port Community Consultation Committee, Cr Tresslyn Smith was naming mother for the event.

Cr Smith’s grandfather-in-law also happens to be one of Bunbury’s first Harbour Masters.

The Koombana and Marlston were introduced earlier this year into Bunbury.

The tugs were designed by Dutch shipbuilding company, Damen, and built in Vietnam.

They are named after Koombana – the local bay upon which Bunbury is located, and Marlston – the prominent local hill overlooking the Bunbury and Koombana Bay.

The names were selected  from suggestions by Southern Ports Authority and Svitzer Australia employees.

The new tugs are state-of-the-art and small but powerful, reverse stern drive tugs with first class firefighting capability.

The Damen RSD 2513’s are the first of their kind in Australia – demonstrating Svitzer’s ongoing investment into the national harbour towage fleet.

At the event Svitzer’s General Manager Harbour Towage – West, Jodie Ransom, said Svitzer was proud of being a deeply local company in the communities in which we operate.

“Our local crew do an incredible job delivering safe, reliable and efficient towage operations,” Ms Ransom said.

Ms Ransom noted that only last month the Bunbury crew reported the highest emissions savings in its short period of operations, under Svitzer’s carbon reduction program.

Through the month of November alone the Bunbury team saved 3714 tonnes of CO2 through fuel efficient operations. That’s the equivalent of taking 29 cars off the road for the same period.

Exports from the Port of Bunbury include alumina, woodchips, mineral sands, spodumene and silica sand and imports include caustic soda and mineral sands.

Svitzer is Australia’s largest employer of Australian seafarers outside of the Navy, proudly serving local ports around the country.

Learn more about our two newest tugs below.

Industrial Action Updates

Fair Work Commission Decision – Suspension for 6 Months – 18 November 2022

Svitzer Australia update

Fair Work Commission Decision

Suspension for 6 Months

Dear Customers and Stakeholders

A full bench of the Fair Work Commission has advised of its decision this morning with respect to the protected industrial action.

Importantly, the FWC has ordered a suspension of all industrial action for a period of six (6) months.

We welcome the certainty this brings to our customers and stakeholders. Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding at this time.

In the interim – all shipping and port operations continue. There may be some minor disruptions around ports today as maritime unions participate in demonstrations at multiple locations around Australia today (Friday 18 November).

Svitzer Australia Update: Fair Work Commission Update – 17 November 2022

Svitzer Australia update

Fair Work Commission Update  – 17 Nov

Dear Customers and Stakeholders

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

The Fair Work Commission hearing has concluded for today, but in its statement before adjourning it advised the lockout will not proceed.

The hearing remains underway and the FWC is giving some further considerations overnight as to whether to suspend or terminate the protected industrial action – but they have made it clear they will issue an order before midday (AEDT) Friday 18 November. 

On this basis, the lockout will not proceed and customers can return to planned shipping movements and recommence port operations. 

Svitzer Australia Update: Fair Work Commission Update 3 – 16 November 2022

Svitzer Australia update

Fair Work Commission Update 3

Dear Customers and Stakeholders

This evening (16 November, AEDT) maritime unions advised they have temporarily suspended all industrial action from midnight tonight (local times).

Svitzer operational teams are working through how this might be managed recognising this advice was provided with short notice by the unions and contingencies were already put in place to manage the impacts of their protected industrial action safely.

Svitzer remains committed to the Fair Work Commission hearing scheduled for 1pm tomorrow and the need to be respectful of due process.

The lockout remains for 12pm AEDT Friday. 

This matter requires resolution as soon as possible for all parties. Svitzer notes the Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations comments today in support of termination.


This industrial dispute has been protracted lasting three years. Bargaining has been exhaustive including 75 meetings, 20 of these as conciliation with the Fair Work Commission or an independent mediator recommended by the unions  (Former Deputy President of the Commission).

There has been rolling protected industrial action by the unions for weeks. New actions have been notified on an almost daily basis providing significant uncertainty across port operations. This is no longer sustainable.

Svitzer Australia Update: Fair Work Commission Update 2 – 16 November 2022

Svitzer Australia update

Fair Work Commission Update 2

Dear Customers and Stakeholders

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has confirmed it will commence the hearing on whether or not to suspend or terminate the industrial action from 1pm AEDT tomorrow (Thursday 17 November 2022).

Most parties acknowledged in the FWC today that the lockout will cause significant economic harm.

The Full Bench will hear the current dispute on Thursday and Friday morning, if necessary.

The FWC indicated that the intention is for a decision to be made for the matter to be concluded before the commencement of the lockout at 12pm AEDT, Friday 18 November.

In the meantime, it is important to note that all protected industrial action (including the lockout) remains in place.
This includes extensive and ongoing industrial action already notified by the unions.

This includes work stoppages at the below ports (in addition to ongoing bans on training, using certain Svitzer systems, training and performing recalls).

Ongoing Union Protected Industrial Action

The protected industrial action notified by the unions includes:

  1. A 24-hour stoppage in Newcastle (from midnight tonight until 00:01 18 November)
  2. A 12-hour stoppage in Albany (from 7am 17 November)
  3. A 12-hour stoppage in Fremantle (from 7am 17 November) (as well as a 3.25 day ban on overtime)
  4. A 4-hour stoppage in Geraldton (from midnight to 4am 17 November)
  5. A 24-hour stoppage in Kwinana (from 8am 17 November) (as well as a 3.25 day ban on overtime)
  6. A 4-hour stoppage in Adelaide (from midnight to 4am 17 November)
  7. A 4-hour stoppage in Port Pirie (from midnight to 4am 17 November)
  8. A 24 hour ban in Sydney on the service of certain shipping line customers (these customers have already been advised) and on performing overtime and relief work.

We regret the severe disruption that this protected industrial action is causing.

Svitzer Australia Update: Fair Work Commission Statement – 16 November 2022

Svitzer Australia update

Fair Work Commission Statement

Dear Customers and Stakeholders

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued a statement and directions late yesterday listing a hearing to decide whether or not to suspend or terminate protected industrial action by Svitzer – and with it, all industrial action.

A hearing is timetabled for 12.00pm (AEDT) today, Wednesday, 16 November 2022.

You can read more about this at the Fair Work Commission website via the link below:

Commission to consider protected industrial action by Svitzer

Svitzer will make a submission to the FWC as part of the process.

It is important to note that all protected industrial action remains current – in terms of both the protected industrial actions notified by the unions and underway currently, as well as the lockout notice advised by Svitzer Australia for this Friday from 12pm (AEDT).

At this stage it is difficult to predict the outcome, and we respect and will engage with the FWC process.

This industrial dispute has been protracted and persisted for more than three years. Svitzer recognises a resolution is desirable for all stakeholders.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during this difficult period.

We will endeavour to provide a further update later today.

Media Release – 14 November 2022

Svitzer Australia Advises Lockout of Harbour Towage Crews

Today, Svitzer Australia announced that it has given notice of a lockout to all harbour towage operations and employees covered under its 2016 National Towage Enterprise Agreement and their union bargaining representatives. The lockout will take place from 12pm, Friday 18 November (AEDT), indefinitely.

The lock out will impact 17 metropolitan and regional Australian ports nationwide.

The step was taken in response to industrial action which has made it difficult for Svitzer to run its operations.

There is significant disruption and ongoing uncertainty about the availability and reliability of our workforce and the ability to deliver services. This is harming our ability to reliably, safely and efficiently serve our shipping customers and port operations nationally.  

Svitzer has been notified of more than 1100 instances of protected industrial action since October 2020. It has received more than 250 instances of protected industrial action since 20 October 2022 alone, amounting to nearly 2000 hours of work stoppages.

The maritime unions are the Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU), the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE) and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

For more information please read the full announcement below.


Regional Commercial Team
Sara Gerdner Kalle
Regional CCO
For operational matters, please find local contacts below
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Regional Commercial Team
Rutger Thulin
Regional CCO
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Regional Commercial Team
Veronica Jensen
Regional CCO
For operational matters, please find local contacts below
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Regional Commercial Team
Ralph Franjul
Regional CCO
For operational matters, please find local contacts below
Local contact