Damen’s eco-friendly tugs boost sustainability at one of Portugal’s major ports

Eco-friendly harbour tugs Dóris and Tétis have been operating at Port of Leixões, near the city of Porto in Portugal, following the delivery by Damen Shipyards.


After Damen won the tender process from APDL (Administração dos Portos do Douro), the Portuguese port authority of Douro and Leixões late 2021, the shipyard delivered the vessels in June this year. The tugs have been in operation since 21 July.

Credit: Damen

The vessels are equipped with the Damen exhaust after-treatment system to comply with IMO Tier III emission standards, achieving dramatic reduction of NOx emissions.

Credit: Damen

As a special feature agreed for this project, the emissions during the first years of operations will be monitored as well as the operational profile. Analysis of the tug’s operations will provide insight into the possibility of the employment of full-electric tugs, which APDL may consider.

Both Reversed Stern Drive tugs are built to the standard Damen design RSD 2513, which have a 70 tonne bollard pull. They can perform bow to bow towing, as a tractor or escort tug. Vessels are also equipped with FIFI 1 notation, thus providing an additional safety feature for port operations.

Furthermore, the RSD 2513 tugs are equipped with ‘Damen Triton’, a digitalised remote monitoring platform that collects data from sensors throughout the vessel, helping the operator to maximise operational insight and to improve effectivity and efficiency.

By using Triton monitoring and Triton Fuel reports, APDL was able to see where they can save fuel, reduce emissions and optimize operations.

“We are really proud to see these great harbour tugs operating for APDL in Leixões. We see it as a perfect match to the operational requirements but also with the vision of sustainable goals. Definitely these are the most environment-friendly harbour tugs stationed in Portugal so far,” Carlos Gonzalez Martin, Damen Sales Manager for Portugal, commented.

“The acquisition of these … tugboats fulfils the purpose of APDL, to decarbonise the port activity, reducing emissions of the port of Leixões operations,” Nuno Araújo, President of the Board of Directors of APDL.

Damen RSD Tug 2513 is available with hybrid or fully electric propulsion. Recently, New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland welcomed the world’s first full size, ship-handling electric tugboat Sparky, the first Damen RSD-E Tug 2513.

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