Kongsberg Maritime has taken another bold step in the implementation of its market-leading strategies for autonomous, sustainable shipping thanks to the company’s involvement in an ambitious new tugboat project.

In a groundbreaking enterprise, Ports of Auckland Limited (POAL) in New Zealand has entered into a partnership with the Damen Shipyards Group in the Netherlands to develop a fully-electric ship-handling tug – the first of its kind in the world – and Kongsberg Maritime’s advanced technology will be an integral element of the delivery.

vHaving declared the intention of conducting completely emission-free operations by 2040, POAL needed to drive the development of a fully-electric tug, and approached Damen as a trusted, progressive yard with a pioneering reputation for fuel-efficient hybrid tug design. The result of this joint initiative will be the RSD-E Tug 2513, a zero-emissions derivation of the IMO Tier III-ready RSD Tug 2513, introduced by Damen in 2018.

The radical new tug will be equipped with two KONGSBERG US255 L PM FP azimuth thrusters, supplied from Kongsberg Maritime’s facility in Rauma, Finland and providing a bollard pull capability of 70 tonnes. With their integrated PM electric motors, unrivalled maneuverability, tough modular construction and proven reliability, these thrusters combine minimal running costs with impeccable environmental credentials.

The latest delivery continues a mutually fruitful working relationship which dates back to 1983, when KONGSBERG first supplied Damen with its UL801 retractable azimuth thrusters. In the intervening years, the productive alliance between the two companies has notched up many significant successes. KONGSBERG celebrated the delivery of its 1,000th thruster to Damen in 2017 – the same year that the company first provided Damen’s ASD 2811 tugs with thrusters featuring an integrated HD (Heavy Duty) slipping clutch – and that figure has now risen to nearly 1,300.

“With sustainability as an ongoing watchword, both KONGSBERG and Damen are of a like mind in encouraging the spread of remote and autonomous processes across the marine industry,” says Bård Bjørløw, EVP Global Sales and Marketing, Kongsberg Maritime. “Equipped with our state-of-the-art thrusters, the RSD-E Tug 2513is destined for recognition as a benchmark concept in the development of zero-emissions, fully-electric vessels; and we commend Ports of Aucklandin setting this inspiring example for eco-friendly port operations.

“As the demand grows to mitigate environmental impacts and slash emissions throughout entire supply chains, we at KONGSBERG are pleased to be able to assist our customers in choosing innovative and dependable solutions for efficient, green and safe global maritime working practices.”

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