Svitzer orders eco friendly tug boats

May 21, 2010 10:17

The towage and response operator Svitzer has ordered two new environmentally friendly tug boats as part of its plan to reduce the company's environmental foot print. The tugs cost around 50 percent more to build than regular tugs, but Svitzer believes it will be a worthwhile investment, reports with reference to Maersk.

"Even though the ECO-tug is a more expensive solution we believe it will be a success and that "going green" makes good business sense," says Svitzer CEO Jesper T. Lok.

Svitzer, the Group's towage operator, has a part of its work in harbours located in the middle of cities as well as in sensitive marine environments, where emissions and particles are a concern and Svitzer expects a growing market focus on the environmental profile.

"We expect that especially terminal towage tenders increasingly will insist on environmentally friendly solutions and that it will emerge as a demand also from several port authorities," Lok says.

The company has, as part of its environmental plan set a CO2 reduction target of 1% each year through the years 2008-2012. To achieve that, Svitzer's environmental plan focuses on three elements: a fuel efficiency program, the use of alternative fuels and this new tug design.

The new tugs have an engine-setup with three individual diesel-electric engines. The vessel will only use a single engine when cruising or being idle in a port, but can add power by using two or all three engines when it needs all its horse power to assist a vessel. Additional features include improved insulation and electric winches.

It all adds up to an expected 10% reduction in fuel and emissions and a NOx (nitrogen oxides) reduction of 70-80% per vessel.

Part of the fleet
More ECO tugs will be joining the Svitzer fleet as part of its fleet renewal, and Jesper T. Lok is confident that in 10 years the fleet will have more than 20 environmentally friendly vessels.

To develop the design, Svitzer has worked with its sub contractors for two years.
"The technological solution is now acceptable, but we intend to keep developing the technology, and we will hopefully also reach a more cost friendly solution," he says.

Svitzer currently owns a fleet of more than 300 tug boats. The two new tugs will be built in the Baltija Shipbuilding Yard in Lithuania.

The A.P. Moller - Maersk Group has a goal to reduce its CO2 emissions relatively by 10% in the period from January 2008 to December 2012 using emissions in 2007 as a baseline reference.

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