Damen Shipyards Group will supply the Port of Antwerp with two RSD Tugs 2513. They are dedicated ship-handling tugs both compact and – with 70 tonnes bollard pull – powerful. They also produce considerably lower emissions than an equivalent tug.

The vessels are part of Damen’s Next Generation Tugs series and are built with the latest technologies in regards to safety, sustainability, efficiency and reliability. Examples include Damen Safety Glass – shatterproof glazing similar to that used in cars – and a highly ergonomic human machine interface (HMI). The Dutch shipbuilding company won the contract after an intensive tender process.

The tug has two bows, which means optimal performance in both bow and stern assisting operations. As a result of the always bow first approach, Damen has been able to incorporate a higher freeboard than would usually be possible on a tug of this size – meaning no water on deck, improved seakeeping and increased safety.

Setting a good example

Both Damen and the Port of Antwerp have a focus on sustainability and innovation. These ambitions became apparent in this tender. For example, the Port of Antwerp selected to have the vessels fitted with Damen’s in-house developed, fully certified Marine NOx reduction system, making them IMO Tier III compliant. The Port of Antwerp has also selected to have the vessels outfitted with FiFi 1 firefighting capabilities.

‘In our role as operators we wish to set a good example by investing in greening our fleet,’ says Celine Audenaerdt, Technical Manager Port of Antwerp. ‘We are systematically replacing our tugs by modern type, more environmentally friendly tugs. Buying the two Damen tugs fits in this framework. The new tugs have more fuel-efficient engines and a more efficient propulsion, which significantly reduces fuel consumption. In addition, we are developing two new prototypes for hydrogen and methanol propulsion.’

‘We are very proud to deliver the first Damen tugs – and also the first azimuth driven tugs – to the Port of Antwerp to match their sustainable and operational ambitions,’ adds Vincent Maes Damen Area Sales Manager Benelux.