New inland tug design from Deltamarin

LNG-powered ice-class pusher tug (Deltamarin) LNG-powered ice-class pusher tug (Deltamarin)

With the benefits of freight transport by inland waterways within Europe attracting increasing attention, Deltamarin has developed an inland vessel with capabilities including towing and pushing

Visitors to mainland Europe will not travel far before experiencing the complex and efficient network of inland waterways connecting large north European seaports and transhipment hubs with the eventual destination (or starting point) of any manner of products including both wet and dry bulk commodities.

Navigation on this highly regulated network comes in various forms including of course traditional barges. Also popular however, are pusher tug/barge combinations and articulated tug/barge units, typical examples of the former being the Herkules and Veerhaven combinations regularly seen transporting bulk materials between coastal deepsea terminals including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp with the Thyssenkrupp steelworks at Duisburg in Germany.

The proximity of inland waterways to built-up areas is a factor encouraging environmentally-friendly transport modes and just one aspect addressed in this proposal from the Turku, Finland-based naval architect’s offices in Gdansk.

To be known as the DeltaBreaker, the design combines features of both conventional and pusher tug (with ice-breaking capabilities), it also comes with other multifunctional capabilities. To satisfy the desire to protect the environment along with improved efficiencies, DeltaBreaker will use LNG as main source of fuel. The hull shape offers low resistance and the ability to break ice up to 0.6m thickness allowing the inland navigation season to be extended in various regions within Europe and indeed worldwide.

The design being presented meets requirements for operations on waterways of international (CEMT) class IV with smaller versions of the design also available. A specific characteristic of the DeltaBreaker is the adoption of the articulated tug-barge (ATB) system allowing the pushing of compatible barges in inland and coastal waters.

Interestingly, Deltamarin point out that as well as opening up the possibility of developing an efficient design for barges that can carry: bulk cargo, containers, oil/products and accommodation modules further, such barges could be used as LNG transportation/bunkering facilities. Space is provided on the afterdeck for two 20ft containers and additional functions such as firefighting, oil spill recovery and environmental measures may therefore be easily incorporated into the design.

Deltamarin has been established for over 25 years offering ship design, offshore engineering and construction support services for marine and offshore industries on a worldwide basis. References of note include the offshore patrol vessel Turva built for the Finnish Border Guard and while the 95m long, LNG-powered (dual-fuel) vessel has multifunctional capabilities, with 100tbp it is also an effective Emergency Towing Vessel. A similar reference, also for Finnish principles is the 116m LOA icebreaker Fennica which, with Aquamaster thrusters, carries a tug supply vessel notation providing a bollard pull figure of 230 tonnes.

By Peter Barker

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