GORINCHEM, the Netherlands – SAAM SMIT Towage, the joint venture between Chile’s SAAM SA and Dutch company Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., has signed a contract for the purchase of a Damen Tug 2913 for delivery in early 2016. This is the first new tug to be purchased by SAAM SMIT since its establishment in July 2014.
In July 2014, Boskalis said that the partnership would consist of two underlying joint ventures, with a fleet of 100 tugboats, operating in more than 30 port terminals in Brazil, Mexico, Canada, and Panama.
The merger will generate synergies, primarily in increased fleet efficiency and cost savings, estimated at approximately $10 million per year, to be fully captured in the next 24 months (from the July 2014 announcement).
As explained in the original agreement, the geographic scope of the first joint venture covers the Brazilian towage market, where SMIT and SAAM already had operations. Boskalis and SAAM each hold a 50% share in this new joint venture. With a total of 42 tugboats, the combination is an important player in the growing market of Brazil, operating in major ports such as Rio Grande, Itajai, Santos and Salvador.
The second joint venture, in which SAAM holds a 51% majority stake, relates to the towage activities in Panama and Canada (SMIT) and Mexico (SAAM). The combination will operate a total number of 58 tugboats. This joint venture will have presence in main ports of Canada (Prince Rupert and Vancouver), Panama (Manzanillo, Balboa, Colon Container Terminal) and Mexico (Veracruz, Lazaro Cardenas, Altamira, Tuxpan).