Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards has turned over a new leaf in its shipbuilding portfolio with the delivery of a hybrid version of its popular Damen ASD Tug 2810, the first hybrid tug to be built and delivered by the company.
Damen made the announcement this week that Amsterdam-based Iskes Towage & Salvage has taken delivery of the tug Bernardus, of the Damen ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid design. Damen says the delivery represents a turning point for the tug industry and comes as operators and port authorities demand innovative solutions to rising fuel costs and stricter emissions regulations.
“We already had a very good experience with our existing Damen ASD 2810, which is ideally suited to Amsterdam,” says Iskes owner and Managing Director, Jim Iskes, speaking of the conventional tug of the same design that has been in operation since November 2011. “We are very happy with its performance and so are the crew; it was a logical move to choose Damen for the Hybrid version.”
By combining diesel-direct, diesel-electric propulsion and battery power the vessel can achieve average fuel savings of up to 30% and up to 40% reduction of emissions. Being green, however, does not mean sacrificing power – the Bernardus still has a bollard pull of 60 tons.
During station keeping, maneuvering and low speed sailing (up to 5 knots), the Bernardus will utilize battery packs to operate under 100% electric power. The same batteries will be used when the tug is at the quayside at night, doing away with the use of generators. “This will be not only very economic but will also be so much more comfortable for the crew,” says Damen Product Director of Tugs, Coen Boudesteijn.
“Harbor assisting tugs typically operate in polluted areas with high levels of particulates and NOx, so being green is becoming a more and more important selling point,” continues Boudesteijn. “The coming decade will see a lot of changes happening in engine rooms as they become greener and cleaner.
“This delivery demonstrates that the shipbuilding industry has the knowledge and ability to build greener vessels,” Boudesteijn says. “But we need more support from governments in terms of subsidies because being green has to be commercially attractive too.”
The Bernardus may be Damen’s first ASD 2810 Hybrid, but it is far from the last. Production has already kicked off on four additional vessels under construction, including three for the Royal Netherlands Navy and one for stock.
In addition to tugs, Damen has already built an electrical patrol vessel for the canals of Amsterdam that runs on 100% battery power (charged at night by a small Steyr engine). In addition, the company now has concrete plans to construct an LNG inland shipping vessel, otherwise known as the Ecoliner, and an LNG-powered tug.