Sanmar Shipyards has appointed three new directors to drive forward its mission to lead the tug and towing sector into a sustainable, environmentally-conscious future, based on low and no emission tugboats. All three have expertise and practical experience of the new and developing technologies and alternative fuels that are enabling this change to happen, and will use this depth of knowledge to help drive Sanmar’s ambitious plans forward.

The three new directors are Tamer Geçkin, Hakan Tunç and Özer İlhan, who have all been appointed from manager roles within Sanmar. Their appointments, which have been made in the past couple of months, coincide with Sanmar acquiring a third custom-built shipyard which, once operational, will be optimised for construction of its new Electra electric tugboat series, designed by Robert Allan Ltd.

Geçkin, who was previously R&D and Electrical Systems Manager and becomes R&D and Electrical Systems Director, is currently co-ordinator of Sanmar’s project to build three fully electric tugboats and dual-fuel tugboats for Seaspan Haisea and was previously project manager when Sanmar built the world’s first LNG-fuelled tug. After obtaining a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul in 1997, he worked as a design and field engineer for several years before joining Sanmar as electrical systems manager in 2006, becoming head of the R&D and Electrical Department in 2011.

He said: “At the moment the best green option for harbour work is for the tugboat to be powered by a battery, charged from the shore. This set up works because a harbour tugboat’s operating profile is predictable and can be calculated from the operator’s daily jobs. We are proud to have introduced five tugs, with different lengths and bollard pulls, into our portfolio that can be powered this way.”

Tunç, who has been promoted from Procurement Manager to Engineering Director, graduated from the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering faculty of Istanbul Technical University with a masters’ degree in business administration. He has worked in tugboat construction for 17 years and has vast experience in engineering and strategical procurement. He joined Sanmar in 2016, working as project manager on the Sırapınar, Delicay and Yenicay tugboat series, adding procurement manager to his responsibilities in 2017. He is currently the engineering director responsible, with the help of senior managers, for the planning, supply & chain and quality management departments.
He said: “As we all concentrated on reducing the carbon footprint, alternative energy sources are always an important topic in our business. The success of implementing new technology depends on the collaboration of tug operator, designer, major equipment supplier and the builder. These four stake holders sharing the ideas leads to the project’s success.”

İlhan has been appointed Design & Development Director having previously been Design & Development Manager. He gained a BSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1995. After working as a naval architect, project coordinator and manager for several years, involved with conversions, chemical tankers and fishing vessels, he was first introduced to tugboats and leading tugboat designer Robert Allan Ltd in 2011. Since becoming Sanmar Shipyards’ design manager in 2014, he has been improving the shipyard’s in-house design capability. His team not only updates current designs to match customers individual needs, but also works in close cooperation with Robert Allan Ltd to develop innovative new designs aimed at reducing emissions, while maintaining or improving performance and power.

He said: “LNG Fuel is suitable for deep-sea ships or their escort tugboats. LNG-fueled escort tugboats are one of the greenest option at present, because we all know that natural gas is the alternative fuel currently available that can be used in order to reduce emissions. Also, LNG fuel is a futureproof solution, as there are many alternative fuels not yet so available commercially, that can use same structure.”

Left to right Özer İlhan, Hakan Tunç and Tamer Geçkin

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