UK consortium to develop and build zero-emission tugs

UK shipbuilder Harland & Wolff has joined forces with Macduff Ship Designers, Kongsberg Maritime and Echandia, to create a UK consortium with a common vision to develop and build a zero emissions harbour and coastal tug.

Harland & Wolff

As informed, two tugs will feature 25.5 meters in length, have a breadth of 12 meters, and a draught of 4.85 meters along with a bollard pull of 50 tonnes.

The vessels are expected to have Azimuth stern drives and a series of modular battery banks. Two barges are initially planned, one measuring 90 meters by 30 meters, and the second 50 meters by 15 meters.

Together, the consortium plans to use technology transfer to develop and build the vessels using a 100% UK supply chain. The vessel will use electric propulsion from stored battery power for day-to-day operations. The unit’s engine is backed up by generators driven by biofuel when shore charging support is unavailable.

Harland & Wolff will act as project lead and builders, Macduff as designers, Kongsberg for propulsion and vessel control systems, and Echandia as battery and electrical control systems specialists.

The consortium believes a significant number of similar vessels of smaller and larger designs and capabilities that will be required in the coming decade. Additionally, the technologies deployed are scalable to enter into the Crew Transfer Vessels (CTV) and Service Operation vehicles (SOV) markets in due course.

“These will be the first vessels of this type to be designed and constructed in the UK and will go on to provide firm foundations for the build of various vessels requiring this type of technology in the future. We are delighted by the initial feedback that we have received from potential clients and look forward to seeing these vessels come to life in our shipyards,” John Wood, Group Chief Executive Officer, Harland & Wolff said.

“Innovations such as this are crucial to us realising our decarbonisation ambitions for shipbuilding. This is an exciting project closely aligned to the vision for UK shipbuilding we set out in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh. Bringing together companies from across the shipbuilding enterprise, this consortium is demonstrating how collaboration can harness its competitive edge in the growing low emissions market,” Rear Admiral Rex Cox, CEO of the National Shipbuilding Office stated.