Damen Shipyards Group has reached a major milestone in the construction of its first fully-electric Reversed Stern Drive tug. The shipbuilder is constructing the RSD-E Tug 2513, named Sparky, for New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland. Recently, Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam installed the tug’s batteries.
This involved the installation of some 2,240 batteries, totalling 2,784kWh. With this, Sparky will carry out two or more berthing/unberthing operations with up to 70 tonnes bollard pull on a single charge. Following, it will take just two hours for the tug to recharge to its full capacity. For redundancy purposes, the batteries are arranged in strings. If one battery in a string were to fail, the others would simply carry on the work.
Ports of Auckland placed the order with Damen in August 2019. The ports’ intention is to be fully zero emissions by 2040. To achieve this, they needed a zero emissions tug. Work continues on Sparky and Damen anticipates delivery to be end of this year.
Damen, with its goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder, was keen to take on the challenge. The shipyards group already has extensive experience in the construction of fully electric vessels. Damen has delivered seven fully electric Ferries 2306 E3 for the City of Copenhagen in Denmark, and a fully electric Cutter Suction Dredger 650 for an Australian client.
The shipbuilder is also constructing fully electric ferries for Ontario, Canada; a Road Ferry 6819 E3 & Road Ferry 9819 E3, as well as six hybrid Road Ferries 8117 E3 for BC Ferries, British Columbia, Canada. The hybrid vessels are being prepared for future conversion to full electric. Additionally, Damen is constructing nine waterbuses for Blue Amigo to operate in the Netherlands. Three of the vessels will be fully electric, while the remaining hybrid waterbuses will be prepared for future conversion to full electric. Damen has delivered electric vessels with a total of 20 mW of battery power to date.
Damen’s strategy is to further develop its existing ship types into electric versions, drawing on proven solutions and combining them with innovation for increased efficiency and sustainability. In addition to the RSD Tug 2513, Damen is also able to electrify its ASD Tug 2813.