The Damen ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid takes off

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal

Several months before its official launch at ITS in June, the Damen ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid is proving a success as the first order is rapidly followed by three more.

The first Hybrid order came in February 2013 when Damen announced that Iskes Towage & Salvage in Amsterdam would be the launching customer. Then the Defence Material Organisation of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) has also opted for the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid, in a response to current and future developments in emissions reduction and environmentally friendly shipping. And as Damen Magazine went to press, an order for one more Hybrid tug was also expected.

Damen is pioneering in this field and unique in the shipbuilding world as it is the only shipyard building hybrid tugs for stock. Coen Boudesteijn, Damen Product Director Tugs comments: “We are still on our own developing the Hybrid as a standard. Damen has been working for years on developing both the compact Hybrid and now a compact LNG ship-docking module. Damen has a distinct vision.”

Damen ASD tug 2810 goes green

Depending on the operating profile of a customer’s tug, the ASD 2810 Hybrid, which has a combination of diesel-direct and diesel-electric propulsion, or purely electric with battery options, facilitates average fuel savings of up to 30% and cuts local emissions by up to 40%. Damen recognises that with fuel costs going up all of the time, fuel efficiency is even more important to its customers. “The Hybrid tugs save 30% and this is even more relevant as fuel costs show no signs of decreasing!” The tug has a bollard pull of 60 tonnes.

ASD tugboat propulsion, diesel-direct and diesel-electric propulsion

Coen says: “These tugs are both economic and environmentally friendly. They do represent a higher initial investment but this is paid back in a relatively short time.” For Damen it was also vital that it could offer an attractive cost price, being very mindful that this tug has to cut fuel and emissions, but at the same time, it has to be positioned at an attractive price for the market. “Being green has to be commercially attractive too.”

These tugs are both economic and environmentally friendly

Not only do they save fuel, the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid saves on maintenance costs and spares because the main engine has considerably fewer running hours.

Additionally, there is an option for a battery pack, so full electric sailing is possible and solar panels are also installed for the emergency batteries. With the two battery packs of 120 kWh each, it is possible to shut down all the engines during station keeping, manoeuvring and free sailing at low speeds. The generator set engine of the diesel electric propulsion system will no longer run idle or at low loads, making the vessel even more environmentally friendly.

As well as the Damen ASD Tug 2810, a Hybrid version is possible for the ASD Tug 3212 and 2411 and for Stan Tugs.

The ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid embodies extensive Damen research. In 2012, the three-year ‘E3’ project was completed, whereby Damen and its partners monitored a conventional ASD Tug 2810 operating in the port of Rotterdam. During the monitoring campaign the E3 team found that the average load profile showed that tugs are running inefficiently for most of the time. For up to 80% of the day they can be free sailing, station keeping – running idle essentially – making them less environmentally friendly and leading to higher operational costs.

Solar panels Damen ASD tugboat hybrid option

Damen’s Research Department has also made a computer simulation model to analyse various propulsion trains. Damen can use this simulation model to calculate the exact savings that are possible from the Hybrid in each individual case, based on the tug’s operating profile and running hours. ‘Smart customisation’ of the standard series is possible with options such as a crane and aft winch enabling the vessel to be suitable for towing but also offshore assistance and extra nautical equipment to fit in with the relevant flag state requirements.

The Hybrid has already been recognised in the Netherlands when it won the prestigious Green Award from the Dutch national newspaper, De Telegraaf.

For Coen particularly, the launch of the Hybrid is a poignant moment as he celebrates being 25 years as Product Director Tugs of Damen and 40 years in the business.

It is great to celebrate with this kind of product! For Damen, we have the Hybrid and we are working on the introduction of the LNG type, it is such an exciting period.

New Compact Series Introducing the Reverse Stern Drive Tug

Yet another development from Damen’s Tug Department is the new Compact Series, which will be launched in the next few years. The new brand – the Reverse Stern Drive Tug (RSD) – is essentially an ASD and tractor tug in one – being able to sail ahead and astern, with the same bow height forward and aft.

Currently, the Series comprises the RSD 2210, which will have a 50 t BP, RSD 2512 (70t BP) and RSD 2914 (90t BP). Damen will start on the designs, detailed engineering and production drawings in 2014.

Coen stresses: “This Compact Series is absolutely designed for SHIP HANDLING, it is dedicated for harbours. It is not about coastal towing, offshore buoy handling – it is a 100% ship handling module!”

Damen of course, has built a name in compact tugs over the decades, starting in the seventies with the 16 m length Stan Tug 1 with a 10t BP, which was designed by Chairman Kommer Damen. This is still successful as a 16 tonnes bollard pull tug today… with over 400 tugs built!

The new RSD provides improved working and sailing capacities.

It is a cost efficient tool for handling containers and bulk carriers in harbours. The RSD is powerful, compact, has a low cost price and is very reliable. All accommodation is above the main deck and it has modern control and information systems and new cooling systems so it is more environmentally friendly. Summed up – it is the next step forward, it is more multifunctional.

This RSD has full power astern and ahead. Previously the similar vessel type ASD 2411 had a square aft so water comes over but now this is more bow shaped. “This is ideal for forward and aft but also in waves, a big improvement for a ship handling tug. Some harbours prefer ASD tugs and others, tractor tugs but they now always have bow ahead because on the RSD there are effectively two bows. The RSD has perfect sailing capacities. It has a great performance steering aft, for corrections of 30 degrees – a perfect ship handling module!

“This latest Series and all our tugs have been developed by our tug team, an experienced crew with many people having 25 years’ service. They are tugs, we think tugs. For R&D, we have continuity of workers so this ensures quality and innovation. The tug team, together with the sales team, helped develop Damen Shipyards as a worldwide market leader and builder of first class ASD tugs and other ship handling tug designs.”

Revolutionary new compact LNG tug coming to your ports soon!

In addition to the Damen ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid, a new natural gas tug is in the pipeline, after years of development.

As governments are more concerned about looking to reduce emissions in cities and ports, natural gas is a great alternative and now a viable option because the industry is now ready, stresses Coen.

“In the coming decade there will be many changes in the engine room. We are now seeing the possibilities; there is the development of reliable products and suppliers such as MTU, which are coming with really high quality, modern high-speed natural gas engines. There are really good possibilities for the coming years.” Damen is currently working on a prototype new Hybrid tug, with an LNG or CNG gas installation and MTU gas engines. As MTU now has the LNG 16V-4000 Series 100% gas engine available, it is ‘full steam ahead’, with Damen starting work on the LNG tug in early 2014 and the prototype ready in 2016, for its official launch at ITS.

The Hybrid natural gas tug is part of Damen’s new Compact harbour tug series (see separate story). This tug is being developed in close cooperation with tug operators and in particular Svitzer, which is the pilot customer for the prototype.

hybrid tugboats directly available from stock, green tugboat technology

Coen explains: “We now have a very specialised way of doing the natural gas propulsion and the storage system is quite revolutionary. Sometimes with LNG, the infrastructure is problematic but we have developed a solution. Rather than having to have a LNG tank on board, which has to be integrated into the whole hull design, Damen will instead use a simple shore container or bunker barge CNG supply system. This is easy to mobilise, transport and supply and is a very attractive option cost wise.”

The new Hybrid natural gas tug will be price competitive and as it is combined with MTU 4000 engines with 1600 RPM, it has an excellent engine for ship handling, with quick acceleration possible. “The performance of our new natural gas tug will be comparable to the performance of our standard diesel tugs.”

For ship handling tugs 90% of them have these types of engines, running at 1600 rpm with diesel fuel.

We now have these modern, high-speed engines for natural gas. With a reasonable cost price and with these engines, the growth of natural gas can only be accelerated.

The vessel will have state-of-the-art manoeuvrability, excellent handling – all the benefits of Damen products – and it is clean and efficient, emphasises Coen.