Port of Antwerp expands its fleet with energy-efficient tugs

Port of Antwerp expands its fleet with energy-efficient tugs

Greening the fleet and making it more sustainable

Port of Antwerp inaugurated three new RSD tugs on 19 April 2021. This expansion forms part of the renewal and greening of the fleet, in which Port of Antwerp is focusing on the introduction of sustainable and energy-efficient vessels.

In 2020, 14,000 seagoing vessels and 57,000 inland navigation craft called at the port of Antwerp. To guide all those vessels safely and smoothly from the locks to their moorings and vice versa, Port of Antwerp carries out 19,000 towing operations behind the locks every year, both on the right and the left bank. In order to bring all those towage tasks to a successful conclusion, Port of Antwerp has 18 operational tugs and 250 colleagues on standby 24/7, 365 days of the year.

In September 2020, Port of Antwerp purchased its first RSD tug from Multraship NV and this was followed by the purchase of two additional vessels. RSD stands for Reversed Stern Drive and means that the tug was designed according to the double-bow principle. This allows it to be used dynamically as a front and rear tug. What is more, the tug is more energy-efficient thanks to its specific design and is equipped with a nitrogen oxide filter to comply with IMO Tier III regulations. The new tugs were designed by the shipbuilder Damen.

Intensive training

In order to prepare the crew and technical staff for the arrival of these new vessels, they received intensive training lasting several months. That training consisted of a nautical part concerning learning to sail with rudder propellers and a technical part concerning knowledge of ship systems on board, maintenance and troubleshooting. This intensive and sustainable training was internally driven and externally facilitated by Multraship NV and Damen.

Greening the fleet and making it more sustainable

Port of Antwerp manages a fleet of 32 vessels, consisting of tugs, dredgers and support vessels. This fleet is responsible for almost 85% of Port of Antwerp's total CO2 emissions. In order to minimise that impact, a multi-year project to renew, green and optimise the fleet was set in motion. In addition to purchasing new tugs, the company is also looking at data in order to improve its processes. One of the ways it is doing this is by collaborating with partners such as Optiport, which developed a tool to optimise the planning of towage tasks, and Cognauship, which will work on the consumption of Port of Antwerp's own tugs.

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp: "Port of Antwerp aims to be a climate neutral port by 2050. In our role as operator we are investing in this energy transition. The purchase of these vessels is part of the renewal and greening of our fleet, in which we focus on sustainable and energy-efficient vessels."
Rob Smeets, Chief Operations Officer Port of Antwerp: "Over the past few years, a lot has changed and a lot of hard work has gone into our operational department. The launch of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), new tugboats, soon to be hybrid enforcement vessels, ... These are all strong achievements that we have been able to realise thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of all our colleagues."
Port Alderman Annick De Ridder: “By expanding our fleet, we are continuing our efforts to ensure that our services are operational 100% of the time, while seeking to pave the way towards sustainable shipping. As the Port of Antwerp, we are setting a good example by taking a major step towards making our own tugs greener. In the near future, we will also experiment with tugs powered by renewable methanol and hydrogen.”

 

 

 

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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 289 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
 
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management. 

www.portofantwerpbruges.com

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Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium