Photo: RSD-E Tug 2513 - Artist impression; Image credit Damen

Damen fits batteries on its all-electric tug

Damen Shipyards Group has reached a major milestone in the construction of its first fully-electric Reversed Stern Drive tug, having installed the tug’s batteries.

Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam is constructing the RSD-E Tug 2513, named Sparky, for New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland.

RSD-E Tug 2513 Sparky is being transported to painting shop; Image credit Damen

Damen is building the vessel in support of New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland ambitious sustainability targets. Specifically, Ports of Auckland has the goal of being a zero-emissions organization by 2040.

This involved the installation of some 2,240 batteries, totalling 2,784 kWh. With this, Sparky will carry out two or more berthing/unberthing operations with up to 70 tonnes bollard pull on a single charge. According to Damen, it will take around 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.

Work continues on Sparky and Damen anticipates delivery to be at the end of this year.

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The shipyards group already has extensive experience in the construction of fully electric vessels, and 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.

Damen’s strategy is to further develop its existing ship types into electric versions.