Damen Shipyards Group has reached a milestone in the construction of its first fully-electric Reversed Stern Drive tug by installing the batteries. The shipbuilder is constructing the RSD-E Tug 2513, named Sparky, for New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland at its Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam.

This involved the installation of some 2240 batteries, totalling 2784 kWh. With this, Sparky will carry out two or more berthing/unberthing operations with up to 70 tonnes bollard pull on a single charge. Following, it will take just two hours for the tug to recharge to its full capacity.

For redundancy purposes, the batteries are arranged in strings. If one battery in a string were to fail, the others would simply carry on the work.

Ports of Auckland placed the order with Damen in August, 2019. The ports’ intention is to be fully zero-emission by 2040. To achieve this, they needed a zero emissions tug. Work continues on Sparky and Damen anticipates delivery to be end of this year.

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Electric ferries and dredger

It is not the first fully electric vessel built by Damen. The shipyards group has already delivered seven fully-electric Ferries 2306 E3 to the City of Copenhagen in Denmark, and a fully-electric Cutter Suction Dredger 650 for an Australian client.

The shipbuilder is also constructing fully electric ferries for Ontario, Canada; a Road Ferry 6819 E3 & Road Ferry 9819 E3, as well as six hybrid Road Ferries 8117 E3 for BC Ferries, British Columbia, Canada. The hybrid vessels are being prepared for future conversion to fully electric. Additionally, Damen is constructing nine waterbuses for Blue Amigo to operate in the Netherlands. Three of the vessels will be fully electric, while the remaining hybrid waterbuses will be prepared for future conversion to full electric. Damen has delivered electric vessels with a total of 20 MW of battery power to date.

In addition to the RSD Tug 2513, Damen is also able to electrify its ASD Tug 2813.

Also read: Damen Shipyards’ order book reaches record level