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Damen, MTU, Svitzer Team On RSD CNG Tug

Posted on June 27, 2014

Three companies are teaming up to bring what they say is the first 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.

“Damen is proud to be building the prototype,” said Martijn Smit, Damen sales manager Europe. “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.”

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 optimised safety concept.

“We are developing our new gas Series in order to meet the extreme load profile of the tugboat,” said Dr Ulrich Dohle, CEO of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG. “The acceleration will be comparable to the level of our diesel engines.”

“As a major harbour 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,” said Svitzer CTO, Kristian Brauner. “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.”