Editor Martyn Wingrove describes how one Norwegian owner and a major tug operating joint venture have adopted propulsion technology
Tugs are leading the way in Europe for LNG-fuelled vessels. And it is in Norway that we look for leadership. For it is here that two LNG-powered tugs out of a series of three are operating.
Earlier this month Pax was delivered to owner Østensjø Rederi from Spain’s Gondan shipyard. Pax joined sister vessel Dux, and will soon be joined by Audax.
These three escort tugs will assist around 75 LNG carriers annually into and out of the Melkoya LNG production centre in Hammerfest, Norway.
As the LNG carriers arrive empty and leave full, these tugs will be assisting with berthing operations and be ready for emergency services, including long-line towing, fire-fighting and oil spill response.
What is really innovative is the LNG clean power and the tug design for operating in cold climates.
In another part of northern Europe, KotugSmit is a leader in hybrid propulsion. It operates three hybrid Rotortugs in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany with the RT Adriaan, RT Evolution and RT Emotion.
There is also a drive by Cintranaval Group to develop hybrid smart tugs, while Svitzer is testing remote control tug operations in Denmark.
In all it is clear that Europe leads the way in tug power and propulsion innovation and we hope this continues to drive new orders of LNG-fuelled and hybrid propulsion tugs.