Denmark-based global towage provider Svitzer has secured a 7-year contract with oil and gas multinational ExxonMobil to provide towage services at its Fawley Refinery in Hampshire, UK.

The contract was awarded after an open tender process, during which Svitzer demonstrated the ability to utilise assets across Fawley and Southampton to provide a more efficient solution for ExxonMobil.

Svitzer, a subsidiary of Danish shipping and logistics giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, says that the contract will reinforce its position in the UK and will increase synergies with the Port of Southampton.

Svitzer already owns the three tugs operating at Fawley Refinery and the intention is to continue operating them with existing personnel, with the crews being offered to continue in their current roles, but now as Svitzer employees.

“We are very proud to have been selected as the provider for towage services at the Fawley Refinery, and excited to provide our high-quality towage services to ExxonMobil,” said Lise Demant, managing director of Svitzer Europe.

“This contract is a great win for all of us at Svitzer. It enables us to grow our position in the UK while driving synergies with our existing harbour towage operations at the Port of Southampton, and welcoming new, skilled colleagues into the Svitzer family.”

The contract includes the provision of line handling as well as the operation of three launch boats and two mooring pontoons.

Two shore-based staff will spend the majority of their time servicing the Fawley operation, ensuring that ExxonMobil has a face-to-face contact readily available, and that crew have a support network for ensuring compliance, maintenance, storing, and day-to-day operations run smoothly.

In addition to the tugs operating at Fawley, Svitzer currently operates five tugs in nearby Southampton.

Last September Svitzer signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EverWind Fuels for the joint development of green-fuelled vessels, working on a green fuel-driven commercial tug vessel in Nova Scotia, Canada.