DISCOVER Magazine #6

Dutch NAVY opts for Hybrid Tug technology

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal
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Damen’s new energy efficient ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid design has been selected by the Defence Material Organisation (DMO) of the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN), following an open and transparent bidding process conducted according to European procurement law. RNLN has ordered three of the ASD Tug 2810 Hybrid harbour and seagoing tugs, which are rated at 60 tonnes bollard pull and will be based at Den Helder in the Netherlands.

Henk Lok, Contracts Manager, Project Procurement Division at the DMO, says: “Bidders for this contract were judged according to various criteria, which were advertised well in advance, and which were designed to determine which offer was most economically valuable overall. Damen was selected as it came out the clear winner in this selection process.”

Currently the Dutch Navy has tugs with a relatively limited bollard pull of 20 tonnes. In recent years, however the Navy has acquired larger vessels, and Landing Platform Docks (LPDs), which can require up to three of these tugs to manoeuvre safely in port. Mr Lok explains: “With the new 60 tonnes bollard pull tugs it will be possible to handle such craft with only one, or at most two tugs. Buying the Damen tugs will allow us to operate more economically, and efficiently, as well as achieve a better match up technically with the bigger ships we now have in our fleet.”

The new tugs will also be more energy efficient, and environmentally friendly, as they will feature a hybrid diesel-direct and diesel-electric propulsion system that will also enable them to operate on battery power during low load situations. Studies conducted by Damen have shown that the design can deliver average fuel savings of 10-30%, and 20-60% lower emissions, depending on operational profile.

Henk_Lok_Contracts_Manager_Project_Procurement_Division_DMOAccording to Mr Lok: “Since we initially started planning this procurement in 2008 there had been a significant increase in the availability of environmentally friendly green tug designs. We added hybrid power solutions to the overall bid matrix and Damen was able to offer tugs with a high degree of sustainability. Most of the time our tugs will operate with relatively low loads and during these periods they can utilise more economical, and less environmentally harmful, battery power.”

The battery pack makes it possible to shut down all the engines during station keeping, manoeuvring and free sailing at low speeds. Batteries will also enhance crew comfort as there are no noise or emissions while they are sleeping onboard.

The ASD Tugs 2810 Hybrid selected by RNLN are off-the-shelf commercial designs. Damen has used tried and tested technology, with one additional clutch added to the vessel compared with standard configuration, and a 230 kW water-cooled electric propulsion engine between each main engine and the rudder propeller. A fire-fighting/generator set has also been installed to feed the electric propulsion engines or to drive the 1200 m3/hr fire-fighting pump. While the RNLN tugs will be little different to commercial tugs, some customisation is necessary. For example, additional safety and security related features have been specified reflecting their specific role supporting naval ships.

The three ASD Tugs 2810 Hybrid were purchased by RNLN as part of a joint procurement initiative with its Swedish counterparts, Forsvarets Materielverk (FMV). To meet its requirements FMV has opted for two ice-classed ASD Tugs 3010 Ice, which will be based at Karlskrona and Stockholm and are due for delivery in 2015. They will perform similar harbour towage duties for the Swedish Navy.

FMV and RNLN have a Memorandum of Understanding in place covering procurement as well as other matters. “When it was clear both navies required more powerful tugs we worked together to see if a joint procurement exercise was feasible,” says Mr Lok. “Going to market for five tugs, rather than a smaller number, is clearly more attractive to suppliers and the aim was to secure some significant procurement cost benefits by scaling up the size of the contract on offer.”

Orders for the five ASD tugs were signed in January this year. The tugs are due for delivery in 2015-2016.

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