Damen to Deliver Fully Electric Tug with 70 Tonnes Bollard Pull

New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland has signed a contract with the Damen Shipyards Group for the delivery of an RSD-E Tug 2513. It will be the first fully-electric ship-handling tug in the world with 70 tonnes bollard pull.

‘We have set ourselves the goal of being zero emission by 2040,’ says Tony Gibson, CEO of Ports of Auckland. ‘To meet this goal, we needed to find a zero emission option for our tugs.’

Fully Electric Version

Damen’s RSD Tug 2513, unveiled in 2018, already boasts green credentials, being fuel-efficient and IMO Tier III ready. It will now be re-developed as a fully electric version. 
Damen design and proposal engineer Tugs Marc Baken: ‘We looked into the request and we saw that it was technically possible. The next step was to consider the feasibility of full electrical operation from a business perspective.’

For this, Damen took data from the operational performance of Ports of Auckland’s existing ASD Tug 2411 and was able to work out what the battery requirements would be for the RSD-E Tug 2513.

Charged in Two Hours

To develop the electric tug, Damen makes use of proven components already available on the market. This includes, for example, the charging station, which is based on technology that has already demonstrated it credentials in the automotive industry. A simple system, it features four cables on the vessel being connected to the station. Once connected, the 1.5 MW charger takes just two hours to fully charge RSD-E Tug 2513.

Highly Redundant

The tug has high levels of redundancy in its power systems. The electrical system has built-in redundancy, with the batteries arranged in strings; if one battery in a string fails, the others simply carry on the work.

To ensure absolute safety, the tug also has two 1000-kW generator sets. They provide 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. Yet, it is not a hybrid system. In normal operation, the generators will not be used as the vessel and its battery system have been designed to meet the port’s normal operational needs.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.