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Damen: what does it take to design and build an award-winning electric tug?

Damen Shipyards designed and built Sparky for Ports of Auckland

Posted on January 24, 2024

Damen built Sparky, ITS Tug of the Year 2022, for Ports of Auckland, New Zealand at the Damen Song Cam shipyard in Vietnam as a fully electric reverse stern drive (RSD) tug. It handles and docks ships producing no emissions in New Zealand’s main port using its onboard Toshiba lithium-ion batteries.

Sparky was built to Damen’s RSD-E 2513 design with two Caterpillar C32 back-up generators and two Kongsberg US 255 azimuth L drives, an Echandia power management system and Damen’s Triton remote monitoring module.

Since then, Damen has used the experience from building Sparky to construct a series of fully electric tugs. The company tells Riviera Maritime Media five more of these RSD-E 2513 tugs will be completed in 2024 and a new style of electric tug will be designed.

Damen anticipates the next fully electric RSD-E 2513 tug to be delivered to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges (ITS Ports and Harbour of the Year Award 2022 winner) in Q3 2024 following commissioning and sea trials in Vietnam.

Another electric-hybrid tug will be built for Boluda Towage (ITS Tug Owner of the Year 2022) in 2024 or 2025 and more of these tugs will be ready for owners to purchase for emissions-free towage from Q3 2024.

“We have worked on a new fully electric tug design, which will be announced soon,” said Damen. “We have updated the electrical components to achieve a higher power output in a smaller size system,” the company said.

“We are continuously monitoring the development of new batteries as well as the ability for high-power charging.”

Damen Shipyards received the ITS Tug of the Year Award 2022 during the gala dinner at the 26th ITS Convention in Istanbul, Turkey

ITS Awards 2024 winners will be announced during the gala dinner at the International Tug & Salvage Convention, Exhibition & Awards. This memorable event saw over 500 industry members come together to recognise industry achievement and connect with colleagues in 2022.

Use this link to nominate any individuals, vessels or organisations that have stood out for driving progress for ITS 2024 Awards, which include categories for ports and harbours, tug owners, innovations, safety, salvage, lifetime achievement and tug of the year. #ITS2024


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