World’s First Fully-Electric Tug With 70 Tonnes Bollard Pull Launched For Ports Of Auckland

On 4th December at Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam, the world’s first fully-electric ship-handling tug of 70 tonnes bollard pull – the Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 – was launched into the water. Damen is building the vessel to supports its customer, New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland, in achieving its ambitious sustainability targets.

Making green greener

The RSD-E Tug 2513 takes an already efficient design and optimises it for maximum maritime sustainability. Ports of Auckland has the goal of being a zero-emissions organisation by 2040. With this is mind, the organisation approached Damen with the question – was a fully-electric, zero emissions tug a possibility?

Damen, with its own goal to become the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder, was keen to take up the challenge. With Ports of Auckland already operating a Damen ASD Tug 2411, the shipbuilder was able to assess the potential for a fully-electric tug. The idea proved not only to be possible, but economically viable.

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World first in maritime sustainability

Sjoerd de Bruin, Damen sales manager Asia Pacific, said “ With 40% of New Zealand’s energy being generated from sustainable sources – including 80% of electricity – Sparky offers the chance to complete the sustainable circle in Ports of Auckland’s tug operation.

“Since receiving the order for this historic vessel, we have been working towards this moment – the introduction of the first fully-electric tug of this capability to the water. We are looking forward to continuing in our task and completing the vessel in the coming months.”

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The next stages of construction will see Damen install the vessel’s innovative hardware. The RSD-E Tug 2513 is scheduled to be delivered to Ports of Auckland end 2021. Following a vote, Ports of Auckland planning to name the vessel Sparky.

Transforming the current

The RSD-E Tug 2513 is just one example of Damen’s work towards more maritime sustainability. Recently the shipyards group has delivered a number of fully electric platforms, including its first fully electric Cutter Suction Dredger. Damen has also delivered a number of electric and hybrid ferries to Denmark and Canada.

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Recently, Damen signed a contract for the delivery of nine hybrid and fully electric ferries to operate in the area of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In addition to their fuel efficiency, Damen has designed the ferries to feature sustainable credentials throughout. An example is their interiors, which will use natural and recyclable materials in order to be completely circular.

Damen aims to reach its goal of becoming the most sustainable shipbuilder by ensuring that, not only are its products environmentally clean, but also that the processes by which it makes them are optimally efficient.


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