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 support its customer, New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland, in achieving its ambitious sustainability targets. 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.
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.” 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 at the end of 2021. Following a naming competition, Ports of Auckland is planning to name the vessel ‘Sparky’.