Damen Shipyards, German engine manufacturer MTU Friedrichshafen and Denmark’s Svitzer have partnered to launch a new reverse stern drive (RSD) compressed natural gas (CNG) tug.

Claimed to be the first such product, the new RSD CNG tug prototype will be designed and developed to deliver reduced fuel costs and lower emissions, while making use of high power.

Slated for official launch in 2016, the new tug will be powered by a 16-cylinder pure gas engine that is currently being developed by MTU, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

Damen Europe sales manager Martijn Smit said: “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.”

“With the MTU 4000 engine, this vessel is excellent for ship handling, with very quick acceleration.”

The new gas engine will be based on MTU’s proven workboat series 4000 M63 diesel engine and will include a multi-point gas injection system, a dynamic engine control and an optimised safety concept.

Rolls-Royce Power Systems CEO Dr Ulrich Dohle said that the new gas series is being developed 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 three emission legislation will be ensured without the need of additional exhaust gas after treatment,” Dohle said.

“The 2,000kW MTU gas engine is characterised by high power density combined with low fuel consumption.”

Image: Damen, MTU and SVITZER will launch the world’s first RSD CNG tug in 2016. Photo: courtesy of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG/Damen.