Damen’s new sustainable pusher tug

By Mike Brezonick03 October 2022

Damen Riverbuster Damen’s new Riverbuster 1909 pusher tug is designed to operate on inland and coastal waterways while meeting EU and IMO emissions regulations. (Photo: Damen)

Damen has developed a new inland vessel designed to operate on inland and coastal waters in a wide variety of deployments such as towing, barge handling, marine construction and dredging support.

The Riverbuster 1909 pusher tug is intended to be a fully configurable, modular platform, which can be fitted out with project-specific equipment such as forward and rear towing or anchor handling winches, two sets of hydraulic tugger winches, several deck crane options, two sets of 20 ft. container twist locks, hydraulic towing pins, and a foldable A-frame for plow dredging.

While the wheelhouse is hydraulically lifted to enable a viewing height of 11 m, the vessel remains compact with a shallow draft of only 1.75 m and an air draft of 4.20 m, which the company said allows the Riverbuster to reach almost any inland destination. The vessel’s aft skeg allows for complete groundings, opening opportunities for close dredging assistance.

Adding to vessel versatility, several diesel-direct and diesel-electric thruster options can be chosen, driven by either Volvo Penta or MAN Rollo diesel engines. Ratings between 750 and 1500 kW are available, which generate 12.5 to 25 tonnes bollard pull, Damen said. All of the engines meet EU Stage 5 and IMO Tier III emissions standards.

Fully electric propulsion by means of swappable battery containers on deck is also an option, allowing for zero-emission transport along fixed routes.

To achieve maximum sustainability, the Riverbuster design is optimized, Damen said. The hull shape and fuel consumption have all been redesigned to reduce the carbon footprint and with it, reduce operating costs.

Damen said it is expecting a rise in demand for newbuilds that fully comply with European emissions legislation. The new regulations will provide a foothold for the modernization of the market, and with the announcement of a future emission labelling system for inland waterway transport vessels, will undoubtedly increase day rates in the long-term.

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