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Antwerp expands its fleet with 'green' energy-efficient tugs

THE Port of Antwerp has inaugurated three new fuel-efficient Reversed Stern Drive (RSD) tugs as part of its 'greening the fleet' programme to make the harbour more ecologically sustainable

21 April 2021 - 19:00
THE Port of Antwerp has inaugurated three new fuel-efficient Reversed Stern Drive (RSD) tugs as part of its 'greening the fleet' programme to make the harbour more ecologically sustainable.

This expansion forms part of the renewal and greening of the fleet, in which the 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 vessels between locks and moorings, the port conducts 19,000 such towing operations on the right and the left bank every year.



To bring all those towage tasks to a successful conclusion, the 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 means that the tug was designed with a double-bow. It 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.



The crew and technical staff received intensive training, from Multraship NV and Damen. lasting several months before the tugs' arrival. 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.



The Port of Antwerp manages a fleet of 32 vessels, consisting of tugs, dredgers and support vessels. This fleet is responsible for almost 85 per cent of the port's total CO2 emissions. To minimise that impact, a multi-year project to renew, green and optimise the fleet was set in motion.



'Port of Antwerp aims to be a climate neutral port by 2050,' said Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren.



'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,' he said.


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