Damen Shipyards and Boluda Towage have joined forces to bring zero-emissions tugs to Europe. In a groundbreaking move the two organisations, which have nearly 200 years of tugboat experience between them, aim to launch the first newbuild methanol tug in Europe. The first vessel is intended to be a Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 and the partners are now working together to identify the potential harbour that will be best matched to its operational profile.  

Damen is currently developing the methanol powered tug as part of its mission to be the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder. This completely new design is based on Damen’s experience and knowledge thanks to its extensive R&D capability in alternative sustainable propulsion systems.

Boluda as a leading global towage company and Damen as a leading innovative shipbuilder, share a strong commitment towards environmental sustainability, safety and operational excellence. Boluda Towage has been investing for years in order to achieve cleaner and greener operations in the port. An important milestone in its ambition to work towards lower emissions has been a multiple order of IMO Tier III tugs in 2020. These pioneering vessels set a new standard for all its subsequent newbuilds.

Boluda Towage and Damen Shipyards look forward to working with other maritime stakeholders to accelerate the transition to cleaner vessels, particularly those operating in or close to urban areas. In the harbour and towage sector, electric and methanol-fueled propulsion systems currently offer the best and most available route to achieve this.

Vicente Boluda Ceballos, Vice Chairman of Boluda Towage, said: “We are very proud of this collaboration/partnership with Damen Shipyards, which represents an important technological and innovative advancement for our industry. We know that we are in an increasingly complex environment that requires us to always be at the leading edge of solutions to increase safety in our operations, limit our environmental carbon footprint and meet the needs of our customers. With that purpose in mind, we are eager to continue our journey towards the future as a leader in the towage and maritime industry.”

Arnout Damen, CEO of Damen Shipyards Group, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Boluda Towage on what will be a new chapter in European towage. Not only is this project in keeping with our own values, we also aim to give added momentum to the transition to sustainable harbor towage as the benefits that both electric and methanol-driven vessels deliver will be there for all to see. To aid this process we are already building RSD-E Tugs 2513 for stock and a number will be available for delivery in 2024/25”.

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