Damen Shipyards has launched its fully electric RSD-E Tug 2513 into the water at Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam.

Damen said that it is the world’s first fully electric ship-handling tug of 70t bollard pull.

The vessel is being built for Ports of Auckland in New Zealand.

RSD-E Tug 2513 has an efficient design, which optimises it for marine sustainability.

The tugboat will help the Ports of Auckland to achieve its goal of becoming a zero-emissions establishment by 2040.

Ports of Auckland is already operating a Damen ASD Tug 2411.

Damen Asia Pacific sales manager Sjoerd de Bruin said: “With 40% of New Zealand’s energy being generated from sustainable sources, including 80% of electricity, Sparky offers the chance to complete the sustainable circle in Ports of Auckland’s tug operation.

“Since receiving the order for this historic vessel, we have been working towards this moment – the introduction of the first fully electric tug of this capability to the water. We are looking forward to continuing in our task and completing the vessel in the coming months.”

In the next construction stage, Damen will install the ship’s innovative hardware.

The tug is scheduled to be delivered to Ports of Auckland at the end of next year.

Ports of Auckland plans to name the vessel as Sparky after voting.

Recently, Damen delivered several fully electric platforms, including its first fully electric cutter suction dredger and a number of hybrid and electric ferries to Canada and Denmark.

In November, Damen Shipyards secured a contract from Dutch ferry joint venture Aqualiner-Swets for the delivery of nine passenger vessels.

As part of the EU-tendered contract of maximum fifteen years, Aqualiner-Swets will run the vessels on behalf of the province of South Holland, providing transportation service between Rotterdam and Drecht cities in the Netherlands from 2022.

Six of the nine vessels delivered by Damen will be hybrid and carbon fibre waterbuses that will serve the fast ferry intercity routes, primarily between Dordrecht, Sliedrecht, Rotterdam, and the World Heritage site Kinderdijk.