Damen supplies world’s first electric tug

The Ports of Auckland and Damen have signed a contract for an electric tug Photo: Damen The Ports of Auckland and Damen have signed a contract for an electric tug Photo: Damen
Industry Database

New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland has signed a contract with the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of the world’s first fully electric ship-handing tug.

Damen’s RSD-E Tug 2513, unveiled in 2018, has 70 tonnes of bollard pull and is IMO Tier III ready. The Ports of Auckland turned to Damen to help meet the ports’ goal of being emission-free by 2040.

“When we first looked into buying an electric tug in 2016, there was nothing on the market,” explained Allan D’Souza, Ports of Auckland’s general manager for marine, engineering and general wharf operations.

“We are very happy with our existing Damen ASD Tug 2411 and we knew Damen was building hybrid tugs, so Damen was a logical choice for a partner when we wanted to look at the possibility of developing a fully electric model.”

Damen took data from the operational performance of Ports of Auckland’s existing ASD Tug 2411 to work out what the battery requirements would be for the RSD-E Tug 2513. The company focuses on modularisation, taking proven components already on the market, for example, the charging station, which is based on technology that has already demonstrated its credentials in the automotive industry. The system features four cables on the vessel, which once connected to the station takes just two hours to fully charge the RSD-E Tug 2513.

The batteries are arranged in parallel meaning if one fails the others can continue and the tug has two 1000kW generator sets, providing enough power for the tug to operate at 40 tonnes bollard pull in the event of an electrical system failure or if the vessel needs to operate beyond its battery capacity.

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