ABB, a global pioneering technology leader, will jointly develop the technology for autonomous vessels and retrofit a 32-meter harbour tugboat with leading-edge digital solutions, enabling autonomous vessel operations in the Port of Singapore at the end of 2020. Upon project completion, the vessel is anticipated to be South Asia’s first autonomous tug.
During the initial phase of the project, the vessel, operated by Keppel Offshore & Marine’s joint-venture company Keppel Smit Towage, will complete a series of navigational tasks in a designated test area in the Port of Singapore, steered from an onshore control centre. The second phase of the project will see the vessel perform autonomous collision avoidance tasks while under remote supervision. “This project is a key marker on our digital journey as it demonstrates our capabilities as a leader in intelligent shipping technology and proves the success of our Electric. Digital. Connected. vision for the maritime industry,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports. “The intent of our technology is not to entirely remove the crew, but rather to relieve the crew from the tasks than can be automated and thus enable them to perform at their best during critical operations.”
Ports of Auckland has signed a contract with Dutch company Damen Shipyards to buy the world’s first full-size, fully electric port tug. The new tug, a Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 to be delivered in 2021, will have a 70 tonne bollard pull, the same as the port’s strongest diesel tug Hauraki, also built by Damen.