Ports of Auckland has agreed to buy the world’s first full size electric tugboat in an effort to fight climate change.
Port’s chief executive Tony Gibson said urgent action was needed on climate change. The tug has the same capacity for work as the port’s diesel tugboats, and will cost less over its lifetime.
Over the last three years the company has battled to find a manufacturer who would be willing to take the challenge on. Dutch company Damen Shipyards will build the tug, and expects to deliver it in 2021.
The Ports of Auckland has a goal of being zero emissions by 2040, and hopes it inspires other ports.
The port would not reveal the cost, but Mr Gibson said it would be approximately double that of a diesel tug, which costs $8 million to $9m.
“Fortunately, the cost of operating an electric tug is less than a third of the cost of running a diesel tug. So while we pay more up front, over the life of the tug we’ll save around $12 million in operating costs, making our electric tug cheaper in the long term,” he said.
Mr Gibson said the port planned to replace all of its other tugs with electric ones.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said: “People who say we have to wait for the technology to emerge before we can set ourselves bold goals have got it round the wrong way.
“Many of the challenges we face with climate change will require solutions that aren’t yet on the market.
“Ports of Auckland and an increasing number of other businesses across New Zealand are showing that won’t stop them finding ways to meet our goals on greenhouse gas emission reductions.”
[Source: NZ Herald]