Three companies have teamed up to bring the first ever Reverse Stern Drive (RSD) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tug to the market. Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, German engine manufacturer MTU Friedrichshafen, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems, and Denmark’s SVITZER have embarked on the project with the official launch of the new eco-friendly tug planned for 2016. The new RSD CNG tug combines high power with lower fuel costs and a substantial reduction in emissions.
Martijn Smit, Damen Sales Manager Europe, said, “With the MTU 4000 engine, this vessel is excellent for ship handling, with very quick acceleration. Maneuverability is combined with the vessel being green, clean and efficient.”
The new Damen Reverse Stern Drive (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).
The new 16-cylinder pure gas engine being developed by MTU is based on its workboat Series 4000 M63 diesel engine. It will be complemented with a multipoint gas injection system, a dynamic engine control and an optimized safety concept. “We are developing our new gas Series in order to meet the extreme load profile of the tugboat. The acceleration will be comparable to the level of our diesel engines. Due to the clean combustion concept, compliance with IMO Tier 3 emission legislation will be ensured without the need of additional exhaust gas after treatment. The 2,000 kW MTU gas engine is characterized by high power density combined with low fuel consumption,” said Dr. Ulrich Dohle, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG.
Commenting on the reasons why SVITZER has decided to invest in such a unique vessel, CTO, Kristian Brauner, said, “As a major harbor towage operator an important consideration is also that this tug will realize a considerable reduction in fuel costs and obviously fuel is a major cost concern for all operators. And crucially, as a market leader it is important for us to stay innovative with regards to performing safe and eco-friendly operations and to reduce emissions. Through the years we have already developed one version of the ECOtug and with this in mind, the choice to develop the new CNG tug is a natural step towards remaining an eco-conscious towage company.”