Local shipbuilding and repair firm Grandweld says it will start work immediately after it secured a $128m contract to manufacture and supply three salvage tugs to authorities in Algeria.

The company signed the contract with the Algerian Port Authority. The three vessels will be used for search and rescue operations in co-operation with the Algerian coastguard and will be based at the ports of Algiers, Arzew and Skikda.

The 58-metre vessels will each have a bollard pull of 130 tonnes, according to a Grandweld spokesperson. The bollard pull is the maximum pulling force that a ship can exert on another ship or object.

The vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 26 to 31 months.

Grandweld is a division of the local GMMOS Group, a marine services provider to the offshore oil and gas industry and is backed by Dubai-based Abraaj Capital and Abu Dhabi-based Waha Capital.