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Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Tug design specialist Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) of Canada has announced the recent launch of a new hybrid-powered icebreaking escort tug.

The 36m long tug, built by GONDAN Shipbuilders of Figueras, Spain, is said to be an important step for the yard in compact icebreaker development. The new vessel is a TundRA 3600-H class icebreaker tug which reflects the generations of experience in the design of ice-class vessels by RAL. It is fully customised for the Swedish Port of Luleå's operational requirements and is designed to perform icebreaking, ice management, escort, ship-assist, coastal towing, fire-fighting and navigation aids service duties.

The new tug has been designed as a compact icebreaker capable of breaking 1m of ice at a speed of up to 3 knots. Special consideration was made for operation in the extreme climate conditions and ice-infested waters of the northern Gulf of Bothnia. Design customisation of the tug was accomplished in close and very productive cooperation with Port of Luleå management, technical specialists and operators.

The H after the traditional RAL design name denotes that the vessel is equipped with an innovative hybrid propulsion system featuring diesel main engines, shaft motor/generators, and electrical battery energy storage. This configuration allows effective power and fuel consumption management. Propulsion power in hybrid boost mode is 2 x 3,100 kW.

The tug will be capable of operating on the electrical battery power only or on a single main engine in the hybrid diesel-electrical mode with a bollard pull up to 55 tonnes, or on two main engines in diesel-mechanical mode with available battery boost, providing 100 tonne bollard pull. The resulting operational flexibility will yield significant fuel, emissions and maintenance savings. The tug is considered to be the most powerful icebreaking escort tug of this size in the world with hybrid/electrical propulsion.

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