Damen Shipyards and Echandia Marine have formed a partnership to develop what is said will be the world’s first fully electric ship-handling tug. The venture combines Damen’s renowned tugboat experience and Echandia’s expertise in battery energy systems.
The RSD-E Tug 2513 – billed as a zero-emission version of the IMO Tier III-ready RSD Tug 2513 launched by Damen in 2018 – will serve the Ports of Auckland (POAL), the company administering New Zealand’s largest container and international trade terminal. The port manages over half of the country’s imports and exports, as well as hosting hundreds of thousands of cruise ship voyagers every year.
Echandia’s E-LTO energy storage system (ESS) is a highly scalable, air-cooled modular design system based on Toshiba LTO cells and is claimed by the company to be the best heavy-duty cell chemistry on the market. The 2.8MWh ESS is specifically optimized for the RSD-E Tug application and will be type-certified by testing and certification organization Bureau Veritas.
Damen has a reputation for fuel-efficient hybrid tug design, developing both multi-functional standard vessels and custom-built tugboat designs.
Magnus Eriksson, CEO of Echandia, said, “The Damen-Echandia partnership is a powerful one. Damen’s understanding of and experience with the global tugboat market, combined with Echandia’s deep engineering and energy system expertise, will result in a whole new market for electric tugboats and speed up the development of world-leading solutions. With over 30 shipyards and related companies worldwide, Damen has a global presence that will allow us to drive far more business impact for our end-users.”