Three leading 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 pioneering 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.
“Damen is proud to be building the prototype. With the MTU 4000 engine, this vessel is excellent for ship handling, with very quick acceleration. Manoeuvrability is combined with the vessel being green, clean and efficient,” says Martijn Smit, Damen sales manager Europe.
The new 16-cylinder pure gas engine being developed by MTU is based on its proven workboat Series 4000 M63 diesel engine. It will be complemented with a multipoint gas injection system, a dynamic engine control and an optimised 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 characterised by high power density combined with low fuel consumption,” says 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, says: “As a major harbour towage operator an important consideration is also that this tug will realise 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.”