Europe’s first all-electric tug launched

Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group has launched the fully electric RSD-E Tug 2513 being built for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges.


As informed, the launching ceremony of the vessel VOLTA 1 took place at Damen Song Cam Shipyard on April 12, 2024. The tug is being built for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, together with five conventional RSD Tugs 2513.

The RSD-E Tug 2513 is able to perform at least two towage operations on a single charge and can be fully recharged in two hours. The battery system is designed to withstand 30,000 cycles during its lifecycle, which is consistent with the lifetime of the vessel, Damen said.


In addition to supplying the vessel, Damen will also provide the Port of Antwerp-Bruges with the charging equipment and onshore charging infrastructure required to operate the tug.

The port was one of the first to operate a conventional RSD Tug 2513 following Damen’s release of the vessel onto the market in 2018. It was the success of this vessel that led to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges latest order with Damen, as it seeks to increase sustainability.

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The Belgian port, one of the busiest in Europe, is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. This six-vessel order with Damen is representative of this commitment.

Each of the vessels in the order will be in full compliance with IMO Tier III regulations, with the RSD-E Tug 2513 able to operate with zero emissions, according to Damen. When delivered later this year, it will be the first fully electric tug to operate in European waters.

The port’s intention is to gradually move towards zero emissions and take a leading role as an innovator and facilitator to reach this goal. The port currently operates a hydrogen-powered tug and is soon to begin operations with a retrofitted methanol tug.

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