On 28 November, Arnout Damen of Damen Shipyards, Derrick York of Caterpillar and Kees-Jan Mes of Pon Power signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the joint development of a series of dual-fuel methanol & diesel powered tugs. This follows Damen’s recent delivery of its first, all-electric RSD-E Tug 2513, Sparky, to Ports of Auckland, New Zealand, continuing its commitment to becoming the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder. Damen’s long-term strategy to achieve this includes offering a full range of sustainable tugboats featuring both zero emission electric and carbon neutral methanol powered vessels. The methanol ready CAT 3500E series dual-fuel pilot engines will be delivered to Damen by Pon Power in 2024 when the process of integration and testing will begin. This will be a complex undertaking involving integrating the engines with all aspects of the ship’s control, monitoring, ventilation and other systems and will take place in close cooperation with the classification societies. The aim is to have methanol powered vessels to be series production-ready in 2026. Damen’s strategy is to offer fully-electric models offering bollard pulls of 40, 60 and 80 tonnes respectively and methanol-fueled models with 60, 80 and 100 tonnes bollard pull. Electrically-powered tugs are ideal for zero emission operations in harbors and terminals where low cost electricity can be easily accessed between assignments via onshore infrastructure. With its greater energy density than batteries, methanol delivers increased energy storage capacity, making it suited for longer duration operations while remaining CO₂ neutral. All the vessels will be equipped with a standard Emission Reduction System developed and delivered by Damen Sustainable Solutions B.V.